Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) today said Article 370 is an integral part of the basic structure of the constitution and can neither be amended nor abrogated by any authority unless the people of the State themselves want it.
“Those who seek a debate on the Article 370 of the Constitution of India are making a basic mistake of not appreciating the fact that this article is an integral part of the basic structure of the constitution of India and it can neither be amended nor abrogated by any authority in India, unless the people of J&K themselves want it,” JKPCC president Saifuddin Soz said in a statement here.
The statement came a day after Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh stirred a hornet’s nest by saying the Narendra Modi Government was open to debate on merits and demerits of Article 370 granting special status to J&K and would make efforts to “convince the unconvinced”.
Soz said the Article 370 is the only mechanism through which central laws get extended to the State as and when the State wants.
“This article has also been devised as a bridge between the State and the Union of India,” he said.
He said the people of the State should appreciate the fact that for the past 25 years or more, the BJP has been making three issues their poll plank – abrogation of Article 370, adoption of Common Civil Code and construction of Ram Temple – but soon after the elections are over, they put these issues on the backburner.
“If these were really achievable goals, the BJP Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee would have done it. So, the talk of a debate on Article 370 is illogical. But the fact remains that RSS will be mounting pressure on the Central Government, from time to time, but this agenda will always remain a situation of a dream,” he said.
“In case of J&K, the Article 370 has a specific background which gives special status to the State given the circumstances in which the instrument of accession was signed. The AMM leaders observed that over the years, the successive Government at the Centre has eroded and whittled away the scope and content of this Article which acts as a bridge between J&K and rest of the country,” AMM said in a statement here.
It said the “polarising” remarks made by Singh are not only unwarranted and unacceptable but the same are fraught with dangerous repercussions.