Provincial President National Conference, Jammu, Devender Singh Rana on Thursday revealed that Article 370 had full endorsement of even Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of Jana Sangh, the earlier avatar of BJP.
“How can they wish away this historical fact while generating passions over the issue”, he said while referring to the debates of the Constituent Assembly wherein Mukherjee, in his capacity as a member, never opposed the Article 370 and became a signatory to the Constitution, a party statement said.
Rana was addressing a press conference at Sher-e- Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.
Rana reiterated that Article 370 is a bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country while assailing the policy statement of the Union Government with regard to initiation of ‘process of scrapping this vital constitutional provision’.
“National Conference opposes any such move which jeopardizes the legitimate guarantee enshrined in the Constitution of India for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”, the Provincial President said.
Rana sought to clear the mist over myth and reality revolving around this constitutional provision, saying Article 370 cannot be abrogated. He said his party would appreciate a debate, which in fact has already been volunteered by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, with any political party across the country. “We are not shying away from deliberating over this issue”, he said and referred to his participation in a seminar on it in Jammu recently which was attended among others by senior BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi.
“Article 370 is part of Indian Constitution which has come into force after detailed and threadbare discussions by stalwarts like Sardar Patel, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Gopalaswamy Aiyenger and Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Mirza Afzal Beig and Moti Ram Baigda,” he said
“The Provincial President wondered over the perception being generated over Article 370 with vested interests projecting those speaking in favor of this provision as anti-national,” the statement said.
“This peculiar mindset is to be shunned”, he said, adding that the bogey over Article 370 being raised by BJP is not new. “They have been raking up this issue in different manifestations for the past six decades and the difference is only that during elections the intensity becomes more pronounced”, he said while cautioning against polarizing the situation on this sensitive issue.
He urged the people not to get carried away by the mischievous propaganda unleashed by the proponents of abrogation of Article 370 on the plea that it was coming in the way of development of Jammu and Kashmir. “This is erroneous perception spread with malicious intent”, he maintained. He also sought to off-set the misconception on interlinking Article 370 with State Subject Laws saying the latter had been conceived and implemented by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1927 to safeguard the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Rhetoric on Article 370 is in contravention to the spirit generated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while stressing inclusiveness of his government,” the statement added.
“The statement of the Minister of State in PMO has vitiated this spirit”, he said, adding that the remarks cannot be ignored as off-the-cuff.