Former Union minister Arun Jaitley's wife Sangeeta Jaitley has said her late husband completed the assigned task of preparing a bill on the nullification of Article 370 that can withstand any legal challenge.
Walking down memory lane on the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 provisions, Sangeeta Jaitley said, "Last year, I saw him reading the J and K constitution quite often and I enquired about the reason. His reply was that reading helps to decipher new things."
Although, she added, she was not aware that the three — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Jaitley — were working on the revocation of Article 370 provisions that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir and that he was assigned the task of preparing a bill which can withstand any legal challenge, even in the Supreme Court.
In a nearly five-minute video message uploaded on social media on the first anniversary of the revocation of the special status and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories, she said the move opened the doors of development in the erstwhile state.
Congratulating the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on the first anniversary of the Centre's August 5 move, the daughter of Girdhari Lal Dogra — the longest serving finance minister of Jammu and Kashmir — said the late BJP leader under the guidance of the prime minister framed the bill.
"The Home Minister implemented it on the ground and today the (erstwhile) state is benefited. We have ring roads sanctioned for Srinagar and Jammu and both the capital cities had got the ring roads but the work suffered the setback because of the outbreak of COVID-19," she said.
She said the Ladakh region is also marching on the path of development after becoming the Union Territory and its famed apricot is being dried in a scientific way and will reach every nook and corner of the country to benefit the local population.
Expressing confidence that both Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh would progress under the respective administration of Lt Governors with the guidance of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, she said tourism which is the backbone of the economy will flourish under the new arrangement.
She said when her father was industry minister he managed to persuade K K Birla to launch Chenab textiles in her home district Kathua.
"The industrial unit generated service and provided jobs to the locals. No other industry or service came to the region because of Article 370 and Article 35A," she said and asked why there is no chain of five star hotels.
After the abrogation of the special status, she said the five star and four star hotels would come and set up their units. "They will not bring the people from outside for the jobs but will adjust local youth."
She said it is heartening to see Jammu becoming an educational hub with IIT, IIM, AIIMS coming up.
"It was the vision of Arun (Jaitley) to see Jammu becoming the hub of education. If God had given him more time, he would have sanctioned financial services college for the region as well," she said. Arun Jaitley died on August 24 last year.