Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh today said Article 370 is ‘very much alive’ in the manifesto of the BJP.
“Article 370 has not been dumped and it is a very much alive in the manifesto of the party and will be an important issue in the upcoming Assembly elections,” Dr Singh told reporters after attending BJP’s core working committee meeting here.
Though the Union Minister did not clear the dust over abrogation of the Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir but hinted that it will be an important subject and on priority in the Assembly elections.
Dr Singh on May 27 this year after assuming the charge raked up a controversy by asserting that the process of repealing Article 370 has started and all stakeholders are being taken into confidence.
The remark drew sharp reactions from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who said Article 370 was the only constitutional link between J&K and rest of India.
“Long after Modi government is a distant memory, either J&K won’t be part of India or Article 370 will still exist,” Mr Abdullah had tweeted.
However, the MoS PMO later himself issued a clarification that said, “the reports in the media about my statement on Article 370 are misquoted. I have never said anything quoting the honourable PM. The controversy is totally baseless.” Dr Singh, however, said, “Overall development of the state will be one of the core issues and the agenda for BJP to contest the polls.”
Dr Singh added that expectations of the people will be met as Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government at the Centre was working on various theories to develop the nation.
On amnesty to 7,000 youths (stone pelters) in Kashmir Valley by the State Government, the MoS PMO did not comment but said, “any activity hindering national interest will be looked into.”
He further said the Prime Minister may visit Katra on July 3 or 4 and inaugurate much awaited Udhampur-Katra rail link.
On the Iraq situation, he said, “Ministry of External Affairs is working seriously on the issue and monitoring the situation besides Indians trapped there.”
Member of Parliament J P Nadda, who is also in-charge J&K Affairs, said Mission 44 plus was BJP’s target in Assembly polls to be held later this year.
“Polls will be held in four states and we are accordingly planning the strategies,” Mr Nadda said and added that after winning three seats in Lok Sabha in J&K, BJP is targeting 44 plus in the state to form the government.
“Organisational view points were discussed in the meeting today while the Chief Minister candidate will also be announced soon,” he added.
On inflation, the MP said, “The Modi government will meet everybody’s expectation. Just with hike in train fares, things cannot be assumed.” “Wait for the budget-inflation will definitely be controlled,” he added.
He said pre-poll alliance was not discussed in the meeting. (Agencies)