Press Trust of India

Union Minister takes on NC, Congress

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Asks its members to quit as MP’s

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 5, 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 said.
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 5, 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 rhetoric raised by the NC and the PDP that the provisions of Article 370 were envisaged by Maharaja.
Citing facts and figures, 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. (PTI)

Press Trust of India

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