Article 370 for separatism, not integration, says Arunachal CM
Itanagar, Nov. 5 (IANS): Hailing the decision of the Central government to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said that history has proved that the journey of the separate status provided under the Article has been towards separatism and not integration.
“Article 370 was inserted in the Constitution of India as a temporary provision due to the political circumstances of the time and has resulted in deprivation of fruits of development to the common people,” Khandu said at the 8th Rutum Kamgo Memorial Lecture on the topic ‘Abrogation of Article 370 and 35A: A step towards national integration’.
“It (Article 370) created a feeling of separatism which has been actively fomented and leveraged by our neighbouring countries to disturb peace and tranquility in the nation,” he pointed out.
“It’s been 70 years since India attained Independence. But for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh real independence came this year after abrogation of Article 370,” he said.
Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the historic decision, Khandu voiced confidence that corruption that swallowed thousands of crores of rupees pumped in by the Central government for development of the state will now end and real development will begin.
“Now with this historic decision, I am sure that the people of the beautiful region will be able to experience the promise of ‘New India’, with creation of more jobs, access to quality education and health care and a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
In the same breath, Khandu asserted that the special provisions dealing with the welfare of the north eastern regions and tribal areas contained in Articles 371 (a) to (j) are special provisions and not temporary, which will remain as they are. These being special provisions are permanent in nature and are aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of the states, he added.
Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Pratap Chandra Sarangi lambasted those who opposed abrogation of Article 370, accusing them of giving it a communal colour.
Delivering the keynote address at the lecture, Sarangi said “No one knows why the Article was inserted in the Constitution in the first place. But as it was a temporary provision, it had to go one day. Crying foul now has no meaning.”
Adding to Khandu’s assertion on Article 371 that encompasses the North East, Sarangi said that Article 371 is a permanent provision, it will stay.
“Article 371, permanent in nature, is to protect the unique cultural demography of the north eastern states. Why should it be removed? Please don’t fall prey to rumourmongers,” he said.
Marvelling at the state’s unique culture and natural beauty, the Union Minister promised that his ministry will provide support and funds as much as possible for implementation of Central government schemes in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sarangi informed that he and officials of his ministry had a fruitful review meeting with state government officials and will jointly work out a proper roadmap for implementation of all government programmes related to his ministries.