Article 370 an old stain, done away in a blink of an eye: Rajnath Singh

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Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday questioned the Congress over its opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 and its discreet silence over the provision that gave special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 370 was an “old stain” and it was done away the moment the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got the full majority, Rajnath Singh said while addressing the virtual ‘Jammu Jan Samvad rally’.

Singh said that by abrogating Article 370, BJP fulfilled its decade-old promise and is committed to the development and growth Jammu and Kashmir.

“We revoked it within 100 days in office at the blink of an eye. But I would like to ask why the Congress, which had a full majority but had supported Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, remained discreetly silent on it,” Rajnath Singh said.

“When we revoked it in August last year, the Congress called it an attack on secularism. But may I ask the Congress why the word ‘secularism’ remained absent from the preamble of the J&K Constitution?” he asked.

Singh pointed out that the discriminatory temporary provision was incorporated through an ordinance and not Parliament.

“If Article 370 was so important then why didn’t the Congress make it a permanent provision and why it was kept as a temporary provision?” he asked.

Singh said that the so-called during ‘Azadi’ movement in Kashmir, Pakistani and ISIS flags were hoisted with impunity but now the Tricolor could be seen across the Kashmir Valley.

The defence minister said that with an end to Article 370 oppressed people like refugees from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and west Pakistan and the Valmiki community got equal rights after more than 70 years of Independence.

“Today, I recall our visionary leader AB Vajpayee, who believed in Kashmiriyat, Jamhuriyat and Insaniyat. The BJP stands committed and today for us Kashmiriyat is Hazratbal shrine and Amarnath Baba,” he said.

Singh said that in the next five years the Narendra Modi-led government will bring a sea-change in Jammu and Kashmir’s image.

“The people of PoK will be envious of it. And, wait for some time PoK will demand to live with India and not with Pakistan. The day it happens our unanimous resolution of Parliament will also be fulfilled,” he said.

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