The Modi government did not scrap Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, because of “sensitive situation” in the state, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
Senior BJP leader Gadkari, however, maintained that the party is committed to scrapping this special provision in the Constitution.
In an interview to senior journalist Karan Thapar, he said Kashmir needed more industry and investment to create employment, but Article 370 came in the way of getting land.
Asked if abrogation of Article 370 could break the link between Kashmir and other parts of India, Gadkari said the party has been committed to its scrapping but did not do so despite full majority in the Lok Sabha due to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our party has been committed to abrogating Article 370 for long. But because of the sensitive situation there (J&K), we aren’t doing it. We were in power with full majority this time, still we are not going to implement it. However, as far as the party’s philosophy, policy and approach to it (Article 370) is concerned, we are firm on it,” the minister said, according to the transcript of the interview.
“Because of the sensitive situation, it’s not appropriate to implement that. But as far as the party is concerned, for the past many days, it is there,” he added.
“We need more hotels, restaurants, resorts. We need to increase tourism. But because of Article 370, no one can purchase land there. IT firms can’t establish their companies there. And that’s the reason people are not getting employment.”
BJP President Amit Shah has been repeatedly saying that both Article 370 and 35-A will go once Narendra Modi comes back into power.
Recently, Shah had said that till a single worker of the BJP is alive, Kashmir cannot be separated from India.
Recently, Shah has said that his party will ensure that National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) is implemented across India and ‘every single infiltrator will be removed from the country.’
He had added that all Buddhist and Hindu refugees will be identified and Indian nationality will be given to them.
Shah had said that after forming the Government in New Delhi, they will remove Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
In February, Shah had said that the Modi Government brought in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in order to prevent Assam from becoming another Kashmir.