All 3 branches of government unanimously removed Article 370, says Dhankhar
KATHUA — All three branches of the government unanimously abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, thereby fulfilling the dream of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Thursday.
The vice president said there is now a substantial shift in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and attributed it to the prevailing peace, stability and public order in the region.
He was addressing a function after inaugurating a biotech startup expo in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, aimed at developing the district along the International Border with Pakistan as a hub for budding entrepreneurs.
“Congratulations to the executive led by the prime minister, the legislature — Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha — and the judiciary. All three unanimously removed Article 370 from our Constitution,” Dhankhar said.
With this, Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s dream has been completely fulfilled, he said.
Mookerjee had left an indelible mark on this land, he said.
“The land with grave imprints of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the land facing danger, has seen that danger being removed in this era. No one thought that Article 370 would be stamped out. This article, called temporary in the Constitution, became a curse for us,” Dhankhar said.
Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh attended the function.
Twenty-five startups, including 11 from Jammu and Kashmir, took part in the expo, titled “Emerging Startup Trends in North India”.
The vice president also said there is now a substantial shift in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Today all the things are put in place in modern India. First is harmony and stability. What was the situation at one time? What was the situation in your region? I was a member of Lok Sabha in 1989 and a minister at the Centre. What was the situation in Kashmir? I came to Kashmir at that point of time. I saw with my own eyes. And today there is a big change,” he said.
He highlighted the drastic positive transformation and cited the recent G20 meeting as an example.
“The representatives of G20 took with them golden moments of their visit to Kashmir. Tourism is increasing here. People are happy. People want to invest here. This is a big change here because peace, stability and public order are here,” Dhankhar added.
He underscored the importance of a unified application of law, stating, “any country and any society cannot move forward until there is a unified application of law. It is imperative to have equality before the law.”
“Some people had such a notion that law cannot do anything to them. They are above law. The hands of law and order cannot reach them. There is a change in India as well as in Jammu and Kashmir. Today it is a reality that nobody is above the law. Everybody would have to be answerable to law.
“The law has reached to the doorstep of those who never thought they would be touched by law. People have understood that it is the process of justice. It is the second biggest change,” he said.
He outlined four fundamental changes, highlighting transparency, accountability in governance, the creation of an ecosystem for youth empowerment, and the significant empowerment of women.
Dhankhar applauded the government’s efforts in granting women substantial rights and reservations, calling it a “double gain” in Jammu and Kashmir.
The vice president urged political parties not to obstruct development with divisive politics.
“Development is for all and always above partisan interest. Today, a new ray of light has come into being and the world has faith that India will be vishwaguru in 2047 while following this path of development,” he said.
Dhankhar highlighted India’s progress across various sectors, emphasizing the significant strides in land, water, air, and space.
He applauded the robust ecosystem of research and development that has become integral to India’s growth.
He also met a delegation of industry leaders.