INDIA VOTES 2024: Focus back on Art 370 ahead of Lok Sabha poll : The Tribune India

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INDIA VOTES 2024: Focus back on Art 370 ahead of Lok Sabha poll

INDIA VOTES  2024: Focus back on Art 370 ahead of Lok Sabha poll

Arjun Sharma

Jammu, April 13

The focus is back on Article 370 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, as senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have been making remarks about the now-abrogated Article of the Indian Constitution at different rallies.

The “contentious” Article 370, along with Article 35-A, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated on August 5, 2019.

While there has been a continued discussion regarding the legal validity of abrogation of Article 370 for many years, it has suddenly been brought to the fore, especially by BJP leaders. The end of the special status of J&K is being mentioned by leaders in rallies at many locations across the country.

PM Modi, while counting the achievements of the Centre over the past years, mentions the abolition of Article 370 at most of his poll rallies. He had mentioned the Article during rallies in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand among other places.

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah have also been making remarks about Article 370 and terrorism in J&K at many places across the country. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, during his rally in Kathua on Wednesday, said Article 370 was the reason behind terrorism in J&K, and after it was done away with, the security situation has improved. At a rally in Moradabad on Friday, Amit Shah said the Congress “pampered” Article 370 like an “illegitimate child” for decades.

Recently, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge stirred controversy when he mistakenly said Article 371 instead of Article 370. Shah attacked Congress by stating that it was expected of the Congress to make such mistakes.

In Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to poll in the first phase on April 19, Congress candidate Lal Singh has been seeking the support of the electorate by accusing the BJP of snatching Jammu and Kashmir's statehood and special constitutional provisions. DPAP chairman and former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is advocating restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and raise public issues, including land and job rights.

BJP candidate Jitendra Singh has said that while the Congress was yet to clear its stand on the Article 370 issue, the party is fighting the election with the National Conference that has publicly declared its opposition to Article 370 abrogation and stated that if given a chance they would seek to restore it.

The removal of Article 370 has been surrounded by controversy since 2019, after which many petitions were filed in the Supreme Court against its abrogation. However, the apex court's five-judge Bench in December last year unanimously upheld the government's decision to abrogate Article 370.

While the BJP claims that the abolition of Article 370 has brought peace to J&K, Opposition claims that terror incidents are rising in the Rajouri and Poonch regions, which have claimed the lives of many civilians and security forces personnel. Targeted killings of minorities have also taken place in Kashmir in recent times, they alleged.

#Article 370 #BJP #Jammu #Lok Sabha #Narendra Modi

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