Reversion to pre-1953 status ruled out
10 June 2000
The Times of India
New Delhi: The Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mr Chaman Lal Gupta today ruled out the reversion of Jammu and Kashmir to the pre-1953 status. Addressing party activists, who has called on him to express concern over demand for restoration of pre-1953 status and greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir state, Mr Gupta said there was no question of yielding any ground on this issue. He decried the demand of the National Conference for change of nomenclature of the Governor as Sadar-i-Riyasat and chief minister as Prime Minister as used to be in the past. He said this smacked of separatism and against the spirit of nationalism. The BJP and its earlier avatars- the Praja Parishad and the Jana Sangh- he said, had made tremendous sacrifices to bring the state closer to the rest of India. "There is no question of reversing the hands of clock," he added. Mr Gupta said, if the Indian Constitution could be useful for over 100 crore Indians, including crores of Muslims, how could it be harmful for some lakhs of activists and followers of the National Conference "who hardly represent the views and feelings of the entire people of the State, specially those of Jammu and Ladakh who have already rejected the demand for reversal of the integration process in the name of greater autonomy". He regretted that the ruling National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir was "raising the bogey of Autonomy knowing well that the BJP had struggled for demolishing the barriers between the state and rest of India." The move of the National Conference, he alleged, was to create an embarassing situation for the government at the Centre. Mr Gupta accused the Congress for the "entire mess" in Jammu and Kashmir and alleged that even today leaders of Congress have not spelled out their "clear cut" stand on the issue.