‘People should think over merits and demerits of Article 35A’

BJP leader Nirmal Singh addresses gathering in north Kashmir
‘People should think over merits and demerits of Article 35A’
File Photo: Nirmal Singh

Former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Nirmal Singh Sunday said that people of J&K should think over the merits and demerits of Article 35A and the special status granted to the state.

He said though the matter pertaining to Article 35A isbefore the Supreme Court, at the same time people should dispassionately thinkover its advantages and disadvantages.

"Like a progressive society we should hold a debate overthis issue without attaching emotions to it," Singh said while addressing agathering at Shutloo, Rafiabad in north Kashmir's Baramulla district on Sunday.

When asked about the newly floated the Dogra SwabhimanSangathan (DSS) by the former BJP minister Chowdhary Lal Singh, he said thatBJP has a strong base all across Jammu and people of the area do acknowledgethe developmental works it has undertaken.

Referring to the National Conference and the People'sDemocratic Party, Singh said that people should understand that despitegoverning the state for over 70 years "no change has been there on the ground".

"The people need to understand that leaders of thesepolitical parties have progressed during all these years while as the commonpeople are facing the same hardships which they were facing decades back," hesaid.

He said Pakistan has "never shown positive approach"whenever India extended its hand of friendship to it.

He said that people of J&K do still remember formerPrime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee "who went steps ahead in starting a new eraof friendship with Pakistan. However, in response Pakistan disappointed us andnever showed good intention for peace."

He said continuing with the legacy of Vajpayee, PM NarendraModi too "extended hand of friendship" to Pakistan, but in return got attack onPathankote camp.

"Had Pakistan been sincere, incidents like killing of theBJP workers, captain Umar, DSP Ayoub Pandit, Pulwama attack and several otherkillings would not have happened," he said.

He said, "India under the brave leadership of Narendra Modilaunched attack inside Pakistan giving message to it as well as to the world atlarge that India will no longer accept the terrorism."

While referring to the recent statement of Pakistan leadersthat 'deadlock over Kashmir issue won't break as long as PM Modi is on chair',Singh said that talks are held on the basis on principle, irrespective of whois occupying the chair.

He said Pakistan should realise that it is easy to break theice at the time of Narendra Modi, provided Pakistan shuns its policy of"harbouring militants and pampering the militancy across the state".

He said attempts are being made to defame the BJP byprojecting it as "anti-minority"party.

He said ever since the BJP came to power, "not a single riottook place and if people will see the regime of Congress they will realise thatduring their tenure, riots were witnessed of and on."

He said the future of the people lies with the BJP.

When asked about the killings happening in the state when itis ruled directly from Delhi, Singh said "such killings have happened in pasttoo and leaders of the political parties who raise such issues should realisethat such killings have happened during their tenure too."

While lashing out at the National Conference and the PDP,the former deputy chief minister said they have been raising slogans which suitseparatists.

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