Scrap Article 370; BJP’s Panacea For JK
27 January 2008
New Delhi: The BJP today attacked the Congress-PDP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir for ‘‘constantly floating trial balloons that enhance separatist feelings’’ and sought scrapping of Article 370 and implementation of Uniform Civil Code to bring the state into the national mainstream. In his presidential address at the two-day BJP national council meeting here, party chief Rajnath Singh also demanded immediate announcement of a special package for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits. ‘‘Despite the existence of Congress-led coalition governments at both the Centre and in Jammu and Kashmir, one is not being able to see any sort of improvement there,’’ he said. Singh alleged that instead of trying to bring Jammu and Kashmir into the national mainstream, the state government ‘’constantly keeps floating trial balloons that enhance separatist feelings’’. ‘‘Sometimes they talk about the pre-1953 situation or make a completely ludicrous demand such as asking for a separate currency for Jammu and Kashmir,’’ he added. Prior to 1953, the BJP president further claimed, when Kashmir had a separate Parliament, Prime Minister and flag, the state did not have a separate currency even at that time. ‘‘This shows that the Congress is going even one step beyond that point in history.’’ He said the government was not paying any attention towards the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits who were leading a ‘’life of misery.’’ Singh said there was no special provision for the Kashmiri Pandits in the government package announced for Jammu and Kashmir. ‘‘In my opinion, to bring Kashmir into the national mainstream and also to weaken the separatist forces, the time has now come for all political parties, in the national interest, to once again consider removal of Article 370 and implementation of the Union Civil Code,’’ he said.