NEW DELHI: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has said, votaries of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir were its biggest abusers.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, by using the alibi of Article 370 and 35A, both Congress and National Conference had for decades together denied the common man the benefit of Central Laws like property rights for women, voting rights to refugees from Pakistan, the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 in order to appease certain sections of society for vote bank.
The same votaries however never felt shy of extending the term of State Assembly to 6 years and refusing to revert back even after the constitution amendment was brought in by the Morarji govt , which they refused to extend to J&K citing Art 370 because it ensured their continuance in power, he said.
Releasing the book “Jammu & Kashmir – a Wounded Paradise” by veteran journalist Padamshri Jawaharlal Koul, Dr Jitendra Singh described the book as a non-political narrative putting the record straight for posterity so as to dissuade biased accounts about the recent history of J&K from creating confusion in the minds of the new generation.
“Jammu & Kashmir suffered a long nightmare of blunder, blackmail and deceit propagated by vested interests,… You hold the powers that be in Delhi to ransom, and the powers, at different times, were also ready to appease. And this appeasement went on and on till they arrived at a situation where you could not, (since) you were riding a tiger and you could not get off it,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh, who is an elected MP from Udhampur constituency of J&K Union Territory, said redemption came in the form of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi when he abrogated Article 370 in August 2019 and liberated the people of Jammu and Kashmir and integrated the UTs of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh into the national mainstream.
“This ensured equitable distribution of resources and the change has brought about socio-economic development in both the new UTs. Empowerment of people, removal of unjust Laws, bringing in equity and fairness to those discriminated against since ages who are now getting their due along with comprehensive development. More than 800 central laws have become applicable to J&K after it got the Union Territory status, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said PM Modi will go down in history as the leader who showed courage of conviction to correct a constitutional anomaly and an abrasion of democracy by abrogating Article 370 and 35 A and thus ensuring the mainstreaming of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India.
Veteran author Jawaharlal Koul spoke about the book authored by him and quoted concluding remarks in the book , “birds will return home one day”,
Justice Pramod Kohli, Ram Bahadur Rai and Prof Mamta Yadav also spoke on the occasion.