“My answer to question on J&K reported today… The BJP should read before criticizing,” Chidambaram tweeted, posting a link to a news report about his remarks on Saturday at an event in Rajkote.
“The demand in the Kashmir Valley is to respect in letter and spirit Article 370. And that means that they want greater autonomy. My interactions in Jammu and Kashmir led me to the conclusion that when they ask for azadi (independence), most people – I am not saying all – (an) overwhelming majority want autonomy. Therefore, I think we should seriously examine that question and consider on what areas we can give autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir,” Chidambaram said.
While the Congress distanced itself from the comment, senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sharply criticized the former Union Home Minister, saying he was speaking the language of separatists in Kashmir and of Pakistan and that he insulted soldiers who laid down their lives in defending India’s territorial integrity.