Revocation of Article 35A is Made Into an Issue, Centre Will Not Go Against Sentiments of Kashmiris, Says Rajnath Singh
Srinagar, September 11: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday called revocation of Article 35A a non-issue and said it is being made into an issue. He further added that the Central government will not go against the sentiments of the people of Kashmir in regards to Article 35A. Singh, who is on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said the anxiety in Kashmir over the revocation of Article 35A, which gives special provisions to the state, is misplaced.
Members of both the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) raised the issue of Article 35A in their meeting with the Home Minister. In this regard, Rajnath Singh assured that private individuals filed a petition in the Supreme Court against teh Article 35A and the Center was not involved in it. Following Singh’s assurance, former chief minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah on Monday asked the government to file a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court favouring the constitutional provision.
News agency PTI quoted him saying, “There is no reason for doubt or speculation on this issue. Unnecessarily an issue is being made out.Central government has not initiated any process on this issue, we have not gone to the court. I want to assure that — I am not talking about only Article 35A, whatever our government does, we will not do anything against the sentiments of the people here. We will continue to respect that.”
Singh also said that the biggest challenge in the world is the difference between words and actions of the politicians. In this regard, when the issue of pellet gun same up, the minister said the use of pellet gun has drastically lowered. He said alternatives like PAVA shells are now used in most cases.”Last year we looked into the alternatives to pellet guns and introduced PAVA (grenades). Though it was not very effective, the pellet guns have been used less compared to earlier,” he said.
Singh told reporters that the tree of peace in Kashmir has not dried up and that a permanent solution to Kashmir issue is based on five ‘C’s — compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence building and consistency. Speaking about the change in the temperament of Kashmir, he said, “After meeting the delegations and holding meetings here, I understand that the situation in Kashmir has greatly improved. I don’t want to claim that everything is completely fine but things are improving, this I can say with firm belief,” Singh said.