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Article 370 won’t be restored: Law minister

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Conspiracies of 'Gupkar Gang' will not be tolerated: J&K BJP chief

New Delhi/Jammu: The BJP on Saturday accused PDP president Mehbooba Mufti of “disrespecting” the Indian flag and asserted that the revocation of Article 370 was done constitutionally and that it will not be restored.

Her comments that she will not hold the tricolour till the erstwhile J&K state’s  flag is restored is “downright denunciation” of the national flag’s sanctity, senior BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Prasad asserted that Article 370, which gave the erstwhile state a special status and was revoked last year, will not be restored.

“It was removed following a proper constitutional process and both Houses of Parliament approved it with overwhelming numbers,” he said.

Revoking it was our commitment to the nation and people have appreciated it, he said.

“In many ways, Mufti has shown serious disrespect to the very image of India which the tricolour represents,” he added.

The minister also hit out at other opposition parties, saying they have maintained a stony silence at her remarks showing serious disrespect to the national flag, even as they criticise the saffron party at the “slightest of issues”.

“This is hypocrisy and double standard,” Prasad said.

He claimed that the revocation of the Article 370 has led to increased development in the union territory with the weaker sections of society, like SCs, STs, OBCs and women, enjoying the same rights that they do in the rest of the country.

“People participated in local polls in Jammu and Kashmir with joy and happiness,” he said.

“Some people and families who used to rule with impunity and without accountability are going to have problems,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina on Saturday said “conspiracies of the Gupkar Gang” would not be tolerated and anyone challenging the unity and integrity of the country would be jailed.

Hitting out at PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, the BJP leader said those feeling troubled and insecure in India should go to Pakistan as J&K is not their fiefdom, while asserting that no power on earth can restore Article 370 and the flag of the erstwhile state.

“This time we have Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and those conspiring against the country will not be forgiven. We will give our blood and our lives for our motherland and the tricolour,” Raina, holding the national flag in his hand, told reporters here.

Responding to the PDP chief’s statement that she would only hold the tricolour when the flag of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir is restored, the BJP leader said only the national flag will flutter in the Union territory.

Meanwhile, dozens of Shiv Sena Dogra Front (SSDF) activists on Saturday staged a protest here against Mehbooba Mufti’s flag remarks.

The protesters holding tricolour in their hands assembled at Rani Park and raised slogans against the former chief minister besides setting ablaze her pictures.

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