Accusing the Congress and the National Conference of fooling Kashmiris in the name of Article 370, Union Minister Jitendra Singh Sunday said these parties used the alibi of “special status” for political gains when a central law did not suit them.
“Congress and the NC fooling the people of Kashmir in the name of Article 370 and special status. These parties used the alibi of Article 370 when a central law did not suit them, but conveniently forgot it and promptly adopted a central law if it fetched them political gains,” he said.
Singh said these parties accuse the BJP of eroding Article 370, but the fact is that for nearly half-a-century after independence, the two same parties have ruled the state and all the provisions of the Indian constitution were extended to Jammu and Kashmir under their rule.
Lashing out at NC patriarch Sheikh Abdullah, Singh asked, “Why he as Chief Minister forgot Article 370 when he promptly adopted the infamous 42nd and 43rd constitutional amendments of the emergency era to extend the term of the state Assembly to six years, and just three years later, the same Sheikh Abdullah used the shield of Article 370 and refused to adopt the constitutional amendments to restore its term to five years.”
He claimed Farooq Abdullah was the first to adopt POTA, but “now he talks of reverting back to pre-1953 position and reverse all the central laws.”
Accusing Kashmir-centric political parties like the NC and the PDP of being shaky at the prospect of normalcy returning to the Valley, Singh said these parties have all along benefited from the atmosphere of militancy and won elections with a voter turn-out of 10 per cent. When asked about the controversy surrounding the passage of the RTI (Amendment) Bill in Parliament, the Union minister said it is merely an enabling legislation and does not in any way interfere with the autonomy of the RTI.