Don’t oppose for sake of it, scrapping Art 370 will bring transparency: PM

The resolution to scrap article 370 was severely criticised by the major state parties, the Congress and other parties.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said people opposing the abrogation of Article 370 are “usual vested interest groups, political dynasties and those who sympathise with terror”.

In an interview to news agency IANS, Modi affirmed the decision to strip off Jammu and Kashmir from its special status was taken in the interest of the nation — and not to avail any political benefit.

The resolution to scrap article 370 was severely criticised by the major state parties, the Congress and other parties. They questioned the manner in which it was revoked through a presidential order and called the move ''unconstitutional''.

“These are the same people who are used to protesting when it comes to anything that helps common people. If there is a project to provide water to people, they will oppose it. There is a railway track being built, they will oppose that. Their heart only beats for Maoists and terrorists who have bullied common citizens,” Modi told the news agency.

On August 5, Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped and a momentous bill that bifurcates the state into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh was proposed. The resolution to nullify Article 370 was adopted by Parliament and J&K Reorganisation Bill was passed and duly received the President's assent.

To questions on Kashmiri's support to the government after the state’s semi-autonomous status was revoked, Modi said, “My sisters and brothers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh always wanted a better future for them but Article 370 did not enable it. There was an injustice against women and children, ST as well as SC communities,” Modi told the news agency.

“I want to clearly assure my sisters and brothers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh that these regions will develop as per the wishes of the local people, their dreams and ambitions,” Modi added.

PM also asserted the move will strengthen the democracy in Kashmir and people of Jammu and Kashmir people will elect their own representatives.

“I have assured people that elections in Jammu, Kashmir will continue and it is the people of these regions who will represent the larger public”.

“Article 370 has helped the local political class avoid transparency and accountability. Its removal will only empower democracy even more,” Modi added.

PM remembered 2018’s panchayat election where “people voted in large numbers” and were not cowed down by bullying.

PM also assured that the voices of Kashmir’s would be heard and their choices would be placed on utmost priority.

“Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir administration did the ‘Back to Village’ program, where the entire government machinery went to the people instead of vice versa. They went just to mitigate people’s problems,” PM told the news agency.

In his televised address to the nation on August 8, Modi had assured that free and fair Assembly election in the state would be carried out.

''As the panchayat elections were conducted with transparency in the state, so will the Assembly elections. I would also urge the Governor of the state that the formation of the Block Development Council, which has been pending for the last two-three decades, be completed at the earliest,” he had said.

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