Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that there is a need to review Article 370 and 35-A that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir to establish whether these Constitutional provisions have benefited or done damage to the state.
Singh’s remark comes against the backdrop of the BJP’s stand in its manifesto pledging to abrogate Article 370 and 35-A of the Constitution.
Singh also said a decision on holding assembly elections in the state was the prerogative of the Election Commission but indicated a decision could be announced after the completion of the Lok Sabha polls.
Singh was replying to a question during an interview to PTI recently as to whether BJP thinks that abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution will help resolve the Kashmir issue which he termed as challenging.
“Kashmir ek chunauti hai lekin uska hal jaldi niklega (Kashmir is a challenge but it will be resolved soon),” said Singh, who was the chairman of the BJP manifesto committee.
When pointedly asked whether abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A was a solution, Singh said, “muje yeh lagta hai ki sameksha kee jani chahiye ki dhara 370 ya 35-A ke karan Kashmir ko laab hua hai ya haani (I feel that a review should be done whether Article 370 or 35-A has benefited Kashmir or damaged it).”
Recently, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the Modi government did not scrap Article 370 because of “sensitive situation” in the state. Gadkari, however, maintained that the party is committed to scrapping this special provision in the Constitution.
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.