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Jitendra Singh slams NC, Cong for demanding restoration of J&K’s special status

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Jammu:  Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday hit out at the NC and the Congress for demanding that the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir be restored, saying their leaders should quit as Members of Parliament if they do not approve of it having passed the Bill to abrogate Article 370.

Singh, who is the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, also called upon the BJP workers in the Union Territory to set their own narrative and not become defensive before the opposition parties.

“We have the facts, figures and confidence to defend the newly enacted land laws as well as the other legislations enacted in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir after August 05, 2019, the day when the Centre abrogated the Article 370 and divided the erstwhile state into two Union Territories,” the minister said, addressing BJP office-bearers and party workers here.

“If they (NC and Congress leaders) do not approve of the Parliament having passed the Bill to abrogate Article 370, then in the interest of parliamentary propriety, they should resign from their membership of Parliament,” Singh said.

Mocking the pitch raised by the leaders of the National Conference (NC) and the Congress during their two-day sojourn in Jammu, Singh said Union Home Minister Amit Shah had already stated on the floor of the Parliament that the statehood of J&K will be restored at an appropriate time and there is nothing to add to that.

However, he quipped, this will not take as long as 70 years, which was the time taken for a “temporary provision” like Article 370 to go.

Singh, who represents Udhampur in the Lok Sabha, accused the NC of misusing the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh’s name for its “survival” in Jammu.

“Wrong facts are being attributed to the Late Maharaja which amounts to showing utter disrespect and disregard to the rich heritage and legacy of the last Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir,” he alleged.

The BJP leader said the NC leadership has been “trying this trick” with the people of Jammu ever since it was ousted from power but now this “misguided craft” is meeting its natural fate of diminishing returns.

“One of the biggest blasphemies committed by this party is to drag the name of Maharaja whenever they wish to defend the state subject law of the erstwhile state which was masterminded by (NC founder) Sheikh Abdullah,” he said.

Singh said there is no comparison between the state subject law that existed before August 05, 2019 and the one which was introduced by Maharaja in 1927.

Elaborating further, he said, Maharaja’s state subject law was quite porous and left enough room for giving citizenship to settlers from outside who could benefit Jammu and Kashmir in terms of entrepreneurship, science promotion, education and arts.

“It was under this clause that Sir Ram Nath Chopra was invited to settle in Jammu and established the first-ever Drug Research Laboratory while the entire Chopra family of bollywood fame including Ramanand Sagar and Vidhu Vinod Chora had settled here,” he said.

Singh also contradicted the NC and the PDP on that the provisions of Article 370 were envisaged by Maharaja.

He said “history bears out that the Maharaja signed the same draft of instrument of accession which was signed by the other heads of erstwhile princely states.”

BJP nat’l gen secy terms PAGD a group of day-dreamers

Jammu: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Tarun Chug Saturday termed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) as a group of “day-dreamers” stating that under no circumstances will Article 370 and 35-A be restored in Jammu and Kashmir.

Chug also said that BJP was ready to debate J&K issue with National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah.

Addressing a press conference in Jammu, Chug said that BJP is going to contest District Development Council (DDC) polls on all the constituencies.

Replying to a question over PAGD, Chug termed it as a “day-dreamer’s group” adding that leaders of declaration are “exploiting people of Jammu and Kashmir through lies.

“There is no chance of restoration of Article 370 or 35-A in Jammu and Kashmir,” Chug said.

Asked about rehabilitation policy for militants, the BJP leader said “we will not talk to anybody holding gun; and those holding guns have only one place — and that is grave.”

He said that a “long plan for development” of Jammu and Kashmir is in the offing, and that the government is working on it.

Chug also said that BJP is ready to hold a debate with Dr Farooq Abdullah on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at any place and time.

“We will talk on two issues only — and that include wrongdoings of Abdullah’s in Kashmir and efforts made by BJP for development of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

At the presser, Chug was accompanied by MoS in PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh and BJP’s J&K president Ravinder Raina.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also said that MPs of both National Conference and People’s Democratic Party were present inside both the houses when decision (of abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A) was taken but they didn’t resign then.

“Their MPs should have resigned for decision of GoI taken on August 05, 2019,” he said.

Singh also said that Home Minister of India has already issued multiple statements regarding restoration of statehood in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I just want to add that statehood of Jammu and Kashmir shall be restored at appropriate time,” he said.

Replying to a question on new land laws, Singh said that “whosoever uses word that Jammu and Kashmir is on sale should learn that sale of Jammu and Kashmir shall start with the sale of posh bungalows on Gupkar.”

He said “no law allows you to capture bungalows at Gupkar illegally.” (KNO)

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