M A I N   N E W S

Talk of Art 370 a political stunt: Cong
NC condemns Jitendra’s statement
PDP’s Mehbooba wants PM’s assurance
Tribune News Service

Article 370 has impeded J-K’s growth: Gadkari
Nagpur: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister for Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said Article 370 had impeded the development of J&K. “The development of J-K could not take off due to Article 370. There is a tremendous scope for development of the state and a number of possibilities for tourism (exists). Hence, the new government is keen to develop the state in a better way,” said Gadkari. — PTI

New Delhi/Srinagar, May 28
Opposition Congress today questioned the BJP-led government for allowing its Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh to comment on abrogation of Article 370 on the first day in office. The party termed it “a cheap political stunt for electoral gains in the forthcoming state elections”.

Articulating the anger of Jammu and Kashmir's regional parties — the NC and the PDP, which condemned Singh's statement — the Congress today said the government had deliberately raked up the abrogation issue to “politicise and polarise communities ahead of upcoming state elections especially in J&K and Maharashtra”.

Party’s national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the BJP knew well that abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to J&K, was not “politically possible, numerically feasible and constitutionally correct”.

"Knowing that they don't have the numbers or the basis for such repeal, why would the BJP throw an idea and retract it later. It was on their part a carefully orchestrated ploy to polarise people across India. It's most unfortunate that the government is using cheap political tactics in view of state elections to divide people on a pan-India basis," Singhvi said. The BJP's development camouflage stood exposed on its first day in office considering their MoS made an objectionable statement only to retract it later under a well planned polarisation tactic, he said.

Congress' sentiment resonated in the Valley with the ruling NC at its core group meeting attended by party chief Farooq Abdullah and CM Omar Abdullah vowing to uphold Article 370. NC members also held a "symbolic protest" outside the party headquarters to protest Jitendra Singh's statement.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance that “no power on earth would abrogate Article 370”. She instead called for discussions on returning J&K's water resources, power projects and strengthening Article 370.

While Omar said Article 370 could not be repealed without reconstituting the Constituent Assembly, Congress' state chief Saifuddin Soz called BJP's move a mistake.

The NC, which has vowed to defend the article, convened a meeting of its core group, which was attended by party president Farooq Abdullah and the CM.

The NC's core group "unanimously resolved" that the BJP-led government's move to scrap the Article 370 has "wider connotations and ramifications and is divisive, radical and regressive," while warning that repealing the article is the "most dangerous move" having likely "potential of hitting" the very integrity of the country, a statement said.





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