Constitution's Articles 370, 35A will be scrapped by Modi govt: Union Minister

Union minister Thaawarchand Gehlot expressed confidence on Saturday that Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s “dream” of scrapping Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution would be fulfilled by the Narendra Modi government.

The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment was speaking to reporters here after launching the BJP’s membership drive, which coincided with the 118th birth anniversary of Mookerjee, the founder of the Jan Sangh, the BJP’s predecessor.

Article 370 grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits Parliament’s power to make laws concerning the state. Article 35A empowers the state assembly to define ‘permanent residents’ for bestowing special rights on them.

“Mookerjee fought against (operation of) Articles 370 and 35A in Kashmir and wanted to abolish these articles from the state. We have been making efforts to fulfil his dream since the time of Jan Sangh. But now it seems the time has come,” Gehlot, a senior BJP leader, said. “Both the issues were part of our election manifesto. We will be successful in fulfilling his dream by abrogating these articles,” he added. Asked if the party aimed to abolish the two articles within a specified period, Gehlot said, “We will be successful in abolishing these articles in the second term of Modi government. The party manifesto is for five years, but it will be done much earlier.”