NSA use in MP was wrong, mistake has been pointed out: Chidambaram

Deepika S

New Delhi, Feb 09: Former Union Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram has admitted that the use of National Security Act (NSA) in the Madhya Pradesh cow slaughter case was wrong.

Speaking at the launch of his book "Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India", Chidambaram said "The government has been told that was wrong. I think the Congress president has told the people concerned that was wrong... Use of NSA in Madhya Pradesh was wrong. That has been pointed out to the government in Madhya Pradesh. So if a mistake has been committed, that mistake has been pointed out by the leadership."

Apart from Chidambaram, senior Congress leader and former state CM Digvijaya Singh had also said that invoking NSA was unnecessary in that case.

Also Read | Madhya Pradesh: National Security Act invoked against 3 men accused of cow slaughter

Earlier this week, the Kamal Nath-led government had slapped NSA against three men accused of killing a cow at Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.

Sabarimala a matter of custom, Ram Mandir faith

The Ram temple issue is about "faith" and Sabarimala is about "customs" and the two should not be mixed, Chidambaram said.

His comments came during the launch of his new book "Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India", a collection of his essays published last year, at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi.

"Ram temple is not an issue of customs, it is an issue of faith. While Sabarimala is a matter of customs which are opposed to modern constitutional values," the former Union minister of finance and home said in response to a question on the two issues.

In Ayodhya, and not to trivialise the faith of those who believe in Lord Ram and his birthplace, it is a matter of faith, he said.

"And, it is because of that, a group of people are claiming the land. Others are saying a mosque existed several hundred years ago. The question is whether the Supreme Court would resolve issues raised by the Allahabad High Court," the Rajya Sabha member said.

Many issues are amenable to judicial resolution "but I don't think we can mix up customs and faith", he said.

As far as Sabarimala is concerned, it is an issue on which one can't take a categorical view, he added.

Also Read | 'Clarify stand on Ram Temple': Amit Shah dares Congress, SP, BSP

"I as an individual accept the SC judgement, but how can I stop ordinary men, women and party workers to express those views," Chidambaram said.

The Congress took a view, saying "we accept the SC judgement, but we can't tell our party workers, you can't have other views".

"Our president (Rahul Gandhi) did not say he has changed his stand (on Sabarimala)," the former minister added.

On the Ram temple issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party BJP, have been alleging that Congress was trying to impede the judicial process for resolution of the matter.

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