World Bulletin/News Desk
Minister of state, Jitendra Singh, of the new Prime Minister’s office, Narendra Modi, announced on Tuesday that the new government is open to debate on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which grants special status to Indian-held Kashmir, sparking a major political controversy.
Jitendra Singh said that efforts would be made through debate to “convince” the “unconvinced” about the “disadvantages” of the Article 370.
Indian-held Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called the statement “ill-informed” and “irresponsible”.
The article in question of the Indian Constitution grants special autonomy to Indian-held Kashmir and establishes the legal framework for its status as part of India.
“Mark my words and save this tweet - long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won’t be part of India or Art 370 will still exist,” an angry Abdullah reacted strongly on micro-blogging site Twitter. J&K refers to Jumma and Kashmir, i.e. Indian-held Kashmir.
“Art 370 is the ONLY constitutional link between J&K & rest of India. Talk of revocation of it not just ill informed it’s irresponsible,” he wrote.
Mehbooba Mufti, leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Indian Kashmir, also slammed Singh’s remarks.
“The PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) must clarify the statement to reassure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that no mischief is on its way,” Mufti said in a statement.
Following the backlash, Singh said that he has been “misquoted” and that the controversy was “baseless”.
“I seek to clarify that the reports in the media about my statement on Article 370 are misquoted. I have never said anything quoting the Honorable Prime Minister. The controversy is totally baseless,” Singh reportedly said in a media statement.
However, during an election campaign event in Indian-held Kashmir last year, Modi had mentioned that there should be a debate on Article 370.Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2014, 11:18