SRINAGAR: After skipping its reference in the “Vision Document” for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, senior BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said the saffron party never talked about revocation of Article 370, which granted special status to the State.
“Nobody from the Bharatiya Janata Party has ever talked about revocation of Article 370,” Naqvi told mediapersons, after addressing rallies in Homeshalibugh and Devsar in South Kashmir.
He said the party never talked about scrapping Article 370. “We have called for discussion on the law. India is a democratic country and there can be discussion on the issue”.
Earlier, Naqvi told media in Srinagar that the Bharatiya Janata Party did not make Article 370 a poll issue in the state, because it is fighting elections on the plank of development.
He said Article 370 is being raised by those who have looted the interests of people of J&K. “Some people were trying to create fear among people of the state on the issue for political and electoral gains”.
Naqvi’s statement on Article 370 comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi skipped reference to the key issue during his rallies in Udhampur and Poonch districts in Jammu on Friday.
The saffron patron recently released “Vision Document” for J&K, but the document had no mention of Article 370, which has been made a poll issue by the parties this time.
All three other main parties the NC, PDP and Congress have been raising the issue of Article 370 and pledging to protect and strengthen the law, granting special status to the state.
The three parties have been saying that Article 370 could not be scrapped and stressed that the law cannot be revoked even by the Parliament.
“It is a life-and-death issue for Kashmiri people, and nobody can revoke it,” said NC president and former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah in a statement from London, where he is undergoing treatment.