No Option But To Revoke Article 370, 35A: Rajnath

UDHAMPUR — Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said there will be no option with the government other than abolishing articles 370 and 35A related to special status to Jammu and Kashmir in the Constitution if there is a demand for a separate Prime Minister for the state.

His reaction came a week after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had said that his party will strive hard for restoring the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir that could include having a ‘Sadar-e-Riyasat’ (President) and ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Prime Minister) as existed six decades back.

Addressing a BJP election rally here, Rajnath Singh asked the Congress to clarify its stand whether or not it supports the demand and said “such things” must be stopped.

“Someone who has been chief minister for a long time has said that there should be a Prime Minister in Jammu and Kashmir. If someone talks like that,we will have no option other than abolishing Article 370 and Article 35A,” the minister said.

Singh said Congress must make it clear whether it accepts that the country should have two prime ministers.

“Such things cannot go on and on. It has to be stopped,” he said

On militancy, the home minister said a befitting reply would be given to those who take up arms. “If someone takes up arms, we can go to whatever extent required to give them a befitting reply,” Singh said.

He said the country is now in the “strong hands” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The home minister said the central government was ready for talks but those who are raising the Kashmir issue were not interested in any dialogue.

Singh said considering the future of the children of Jammu and Kashmir, “we have forgiven 8,000 first time stone pelters but some people continue to instigate the stone pelters”.

“These are the biggest criminals,” he said.

The home minister said Jammu and Kashmir has not been ruled by “outsiders” but by political parties like NC, PDP or Congress for long.

Singh also highlighted the development works undertaken by the NDA government in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have given highest assistance to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Singh is here to campaign for BJP candidate for Jammu Lok Sabha seat Jugal Kishor Sharma.

In the Lok Sabha poll manifesto released today in Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and other leaders, the party has asserted that it is “committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against the non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile addressing a separate election rally at Udhampur, the Minister also firmly ruled out any rollback of the decision to restrict civilian traffic on highway from baramulla to Udhampur twice a week for safe movement of government forces convoys.

BJP Manifesto Promises Art 370 Repeal 

After launching its campaign theme yesterday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday released its manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha elections which will start later this week, on April 11. 

It says that the party reiterates its position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370. Also stands committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution, which it says is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.

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