New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made it clear that ‘Kashmir is and will always be an integral part of India’. Calling Articles 370 and 35A as temporary provisions, Singh added that it was time for the Centre to evaluate how much benefit it had brought to the state. Referring to National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah’s remark that the state should have a separate Prime Minister, Singh questioned the relevance of Article 370.
At a press conference earlier on Monday, Singh had said, “Some people are saying that Jammu and Kashmir should have a separate Prime Minister…. then what is the justification for Article 370?”
Earlier this month, Singh had made a similar statement saying there will be no option left with the government other than abolishing articles 370 and 35A related to special status to Jammu and Kashmir in the Constitution if there is a demand for a separate PM.
His comments were made in the light of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah saying his party will strive hard to restore the autonomy of J&K that could include having a Sadar-e-Riyasat (President) and Wazir-e-Azam (Prime Minister). He had then asked the Congress to clarify its stand whether or not it supports the demand and said such things must be stopped.
“Someone who has been chief minister for a long time has said that there should be a Prime Minister in Jammu and Kashmir. If someone talks like that, we will have no option other than abolishing Article 370 and Article 35A,” the minister had said.
Singh had also asked Congress to make its’ stand clear whether it accepts that the country should have two prime ministers. “Such things can not go on and on. It has to be stopped,” he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP’s) election manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls titled “Sankalpit Bharat Sashakt Bharat”, included abrogation of Article 370. The BJP had reiterated their position on the same saying the party had also committed to annul Article 35A of the constitution of India, as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.