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In Valley, VK Singh says BJP for relook at Art 370
Majid Jahangir
Tribune News Service

Gen VK Singh (retd), Union ministerSrinagar, November 15
Union Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh (retd) on Saturday said the BJP hasn’t shelved the controversial issue of abrogation of Article 370, which accords a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, but is ready for a discussion on it.

“I think a lot of apprehensions have been created on this particular issue. The party line is very simple. There are a lot of issues in the country which we need to relook at and which unnecessarily create problems. Let us look at it (Article 370),” the Union Minister told reporters during his visit to Kashmir.

VK Singh had made a sensational claim last year that J&K ministers were "paid by the Army to keep Kashmir integrated with India.” The allegations had sparked a storm in the state.

The minister said the party had never shelved the abrogation of Article 370. “We have neither put it (Article 370) on the shelf nor taken it off the shelf," he said. A section of BJP leaders is Kashmir have opposed changes in the Article 370. BJP candidate from Amira Kadal Hina Bhat had recently said the party won’t touch Article 370.

VK Singh, who arrived in Srinagar this morning to meet the party leaders, said the BJP was hopeful of doing well the Assembly elections. The BJP is working on "Mission 44" to form its first government in the state. Singh also invited Kashmiri separatists for dialogue.

The retired Army General defended the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“AFSPA didn’t come in the way of punishing soldiers in Machil fake encounter case. No civilian court would have given a decision in such a short time. AFSPA is only an enabling Act and does not give anyone unlimited powers,” he said.





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