Yogendra Yadav defends Article 370, rejects separate Pandit enclaves

Yogendra Yadav defends Article 370, rejects separate Pandit enclaves

“It was drafted by the great minds of that time and keeping special status for some states was the need of the hour at that time, which lingers till date.”

Disgruntled leader of Aam Aadmi Party  Yogendra Yadav today said that all those parties who had garnered votes by raking up the issue of abrogating Article 370 had only played with the emotions of the people and ‘this article is not of separatists, it is a part of Indian constitution, so it should be implemented in true spirit’.

Terming it as bridge between center and state, Yadav while addressing the media on the launch of Swaraj Abhiyan in Jammu said India has federation of its own kind and special status to some states is must for maintaining its diversity and integrity.

“I believe that Article 370 has been exploited very badly by some political parties. Some claimed to abrogate it, while others ran for its defense, when the Indian constitution itself defends the very sanctity of the Article,” said Yadav.  

“It was drafted by the great minds of that time and keeping special status for some states was the need of the hour at that time, which lingers till date.”

He said, Jammu and Kashmir is not only state in India with a special status. “We have Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand  which have special provision, but it is out of my comprehension why politicians rake up abrogating only Article 370, which is protected by the Constitution of India itself,” he added.

 Meanwhile, describing separate composite townships for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in Valley as undesirable, Yadav said such a move would only create a wedge between Pandits and the local people.

"Kashmiri Pandits are a part of Kashmiri culture and are at liberty to live anywhere, but not in colonies to be established for them by the government," he said. “Kashmiri Pandits are the victim of the circumstances, who have suffered a lot. I would personally say that setting up of separate townships for them is not a good idea.”

 He said that in practical terms, concentration of the community in a separate township is not a good idea and the best idea is to let the victims choose. “Kashmiri Pandits are the victim of the circumstances, it would be fair to let them choose,” he said.

However, on the revocation of Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), he said that judicial committees have submitted their reports and they say that the act in its present form must go.

“The reports submitted have not been taken seriously. I am not saying that it must go today, but in any civilized country, the law should be an exception. Though, some powers must be left with the security forces, but it must be brought closer to the democracy,” Yogendra Yadav said.

 Earlier, Yadav along with ID Khajuria and Bashir Ahmad launched Swaraj Abhiyan – an initiative launched to mobilize public opinion.

 In a bid to connect with the volunteers and masses outside Delhi through dialogues known as Swaraj Samwad, Yadav faction has planned to reach out to the masses at 20 destinations in 13 states within a month – from Jammu to Karnataka, and from Gujarat to Assam.

"We’re glad to inform that by the overwhelming response of the supporters of alternative politics, Swaraj Abhiyan will have Swaraj Samwad in 20 places from 29 April to 31 May,” Yadav said and added that they will organize dialogues in Jammu, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, UP, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat in a month’s period.

“Besides the dialogue on alternative politics, Swaraj Abhiyan will focus on building a strong volunteer base across the country. It expects to draw leverage from a large section of AAP volunteers outside Delhi, who have either felt ‘deprived’ or ‘frustrated’ over the ugly turn of events within AAP since it formed government in Delhi,” he asserted and said that in Jammu they have started from Samba, wherein over 500 supporters participated in their discussions.

“Right now, we’re not going to form any party and we want to make it clear that anyone having such ambitions to make a political career by joining the Abhiyan is not at the right place,” he said and added they will not contest elections, but will discuss deplorable condition of the politics in the country.

He said that it’s a place for those interested in clean and alternative politics. “We need to think afresh through a creative participation in dialogues. Our objective is to end the intellectual divide that exists in our political space and simultaneously nurture how one can function democratically. That’s the fundamental of Swaraj,” he added.

At the initial stage, Swaraj Abhiyan won’t organize rallies, but would focus on Swaraj Samwad. “Our aim is to organize journalists, scientists, doctors, lawyers and other intellectual classes to decide new agenda for India. We want to make them opinion makers, as they know the country and its grievances better than any other politician,”  Yadav said and added unlike other parties, Swaraj Abhiyan volunteers are bound under code of conduct and any violation would be punishable.

 He further said that the other aim of this Abhiyan is to decentralize decision making process. “Firstly we will organize region level discussions and allow them to make their own decisions independently, which pertain to the real meaning of democratic setup,” he said.

However, regarding organizing similar event in the Kashmir Valley, Yogendra said that the executive members of the Abhiyan are contemplating to start it in Kashmir as well, and the tentative date for the same is after the month of Ramadan.