Article 35A raised by those who do not have any issue to talk about: Rajnath Singh

PM’s package hiked to Rs 1 lakh crore

We will respect sentiments of the people of JK

Srinagar: Winding up his Kashmir visit, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on Monday, while assuring that the sentiments of the people of the state will be respected said that the Article 35A issue is raised by those who do not have any issue to talk about.

“People should have no reason of any suspicion… Centre government has not taken any step on the issue neither has gone it to court. I assure that whatever Govenrment of India does will not be done against the sentiments of the people of the Jammu and Kashmir. We will respect them,” Rajnath said while addressing a press conference here at Nehru Guest house today.

Singh was replying to a question about the centre not filing a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court to the petition of Article 35A.

Without naming the opposition political parties, the Home minister hit out at them blaming them of raking up “non-issues”.

“I feel that non-issues are raked up as no issue is left. It is very unfortunate,” he said.

Rajnath said that the centre has talked about “permanent solution” and that solution will come out from five ways-Compassion, communication, co-existence, confidence building and consistency.

“Our effort is to restore hour and dignity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

He said,” terrorists have destroyed generations here and we will not allow them to destroy more lives.”

“Poor people, hardworking persons, traders, tourism has been hit due to terrorism. We have to take a positive approach and appeal to all that we have to take the state out of the hands of terrorists,” he said.

While talking about tourisms and development, he said that the centre government will launch a special drive to promote tourism in the state and will appeal the tourists to come to Jammu and Kashmir.

The home minister said the situation in the state has improved and is better than it was during his previous visit.

“We want to see happiness, peace, progress in the state,” he said.

He said that those youth who are pelting stones should be counselled and weaned away from those who are provoking them.

He also said that the juveniles who commit for the first time should not be treated as criminals and any action against them should be taken as per Juvenile Justice Act.

“No children below 18 year old should be put in jail but should be counselled in juvenile houses,” he said.

On resuming talking with Pakistan, the Home minister said that the neighbouirng country should respond positively, while mentioning the visit of PM Modi to Pakistan and his invitation to Pakistan PM on oath taking ceremony on May 14, 2014.

About development, the home minister said that he took a review of PM’s Rs 80,000 crore package and due to cost escalation it has been increased to one lakh crore. “I have also directed the officials to expedite the work and make DPRs as soon as possible,” he said.

On his security review meeting, he said that he has asked the security forces not to use excessive force on people. He said that plants of peace have not dried up in the state and green shoots are existing in the state.

On talks with resistance leaders, he said that the centre government is open to talks with all stakeholders.

“I am willing to meet anyone who wants to help us in resolving problems of Kashmir. There is no question of a formal or informal invitation. Those who want to talk should come forward. I always come here with an open mind,” he said.


(With inputs from KNS)

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