Rajnath Singh to J&K: Centre won't go against your wishes
Union HM Rajnath Singh, who is on a four-day official visit to J&K, said that the Centre's BJP-led government will respect the wishes of J&K's population regarding the debate surrounding Articles 35A and 370. He assured that "the government would never take any step that will hurt the sentiments of the people of J&K." Why did he make these statements? Read on to know.
Why did Rajnath Singh make this statement?
Rajnath Singh provided this assurance as an SC order last month asked the Centre to respond to a writ petition seeking the revocation of Article 35A of the Constitution. Article 35A defines "permanent residents" of J&K and provides special privileges to them. Further, Article 370 provides separate laws to the state regarding "citizenship and ownership of property." BJP allegedly aims to revoke these laws.
What was Omar Abdullah's reaction?
Former CM of J&K Omar Abdullah led a National Conference delegation that met the HM to register "its strong protest at the ambiguity that exists on behalf of the central government in defending the state's special status in the Supreme Court." After HM's assurances, Abdullah tweeted that "assurances should be carried forward" and the Union government should file a counter-affidavit in SC defending 35A.
What else did Rajnath Singh say?
Rajnath Singh asserted that the security situation in J&K had improved and that Kashmir was now ready to welcome tourists. He further said that there are five Cs that will resolve Kashmir's problems: compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence-building, and consistency. He also added that efforts are on to separate the alleged treatment given to "juveniles" and "hardened criminals."
Singh takes initiatives to improve the situation
Singh will meet about 55 delegations of civil society and political representatives without leaving out any stakeholder to discuss the problems facing Kashmir. He also promised a Rs. 1 lakh crore Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) for the state. He urged the youth "to shape their destiny and future by their hard work" and the Union government will take steps to enable them.