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RSS in a hurry over Art. 370

RSS in a hurry over Art. 370
Highlights

RSS in a hurry over Art. 370, The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has jumped into the political storm triggered by Dr Jitendra Singh.

  • J&K will always be an integral part of India: RSS
  • OMAR: Art. 370 is the only Constitutional link between J&K and the rest of India
  • Cannot abrogate the Article without recalling the Constituent Assembly
  • Mehbooba objects to any attempt to tinker with Art. 370
  • Controversy follows MoS Jitender Singh’s remark that Modi Govt was open to debate on Art. 370
  • Amid controversy he says he was misquoted on the statement

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has jumped into the political storm triggered by Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, about a debate on the relevance of Article 370 that gives a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Hitting out at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for issuing a veiled threat that his state would cease to be part of India if Article 370 was revoked, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said that J&K would always be an integral part of India.

First-time Lok Sabha member from Udhampur Lok Sabha seat Jitendra Singh had said the Modi government was open to debate on the merits and demerits of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir and would make efforts to "convince" the "unconvinced" by holding contact programmes with every section of society in the state. Omar reacted angrily to Singh's comments. Taking to Twitter to vent his ire against the new minister, Omar said, "So the new MoS in PMO says process/discussions to revoke Article 370 have started. Wow, that was a quick beginning. Not sure who is talking." “Article 370 was the 'only Constitutional link' between the state and the rest of the country.” Omar said, "Mark my words and save this tweet - long after Modi government is a distant memory either J&K won't be part of India or Article 370 will still exist."

Omar contended that “the Modi government cannot abrogate Article 370 that gives special status to his state until the Constituent Assembly is recalled.” PDP's Mehbooba Mufti also expressed strong reservations against any attempt to tinker with Article 370. "Singh should realise that his newly-acquired position as a junior minister comes with some responsibilities and the Prime Minister should intervene to discipline him.

The PMO must clarify the statement to reassure the people of J&K that no mischief is on its way," Mehbooba Mufti said in a statement. With the BJP finding itself in a spot over the issue, Jitendra Singh later issued a statement saying he has been "misquoted" in media reports. "I seek to clarify that the reports in the media about my statement on Article 370 are misquoted. I have never said anything quoting the Prime Minister. The controversy is totally baseless," he said in a statement. "We will take a call...You saw what we said during the (election) campaign... The government will take a structured view on this," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Singh had also made it clear that BJP stood for abrogation of Article 370 (which gives special status to J&K) but at the same time it wanted to convince the people and have a democratic approach to finding a lasting solution to the issue.

"If we do not have debate and discussion, how would you be able to tell those who have been unable to understand what they have been deprived of on account of Article 370"? he said after taking over as Minister of State in-charge of Department of Personnel and Training, which has administrative control over CBI.

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