SRINAGAR; After reminding its alliance partner in Jammu and Kashmir to follow the “coalition dharma”, the ruling BJP has reconciled with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks on Article 370 labelling those opposing it as “anti-nationals”.
“We have not sought any clarification from Mehbooba Mufti on her Article 370 remarks. Whatever she has said is her view point,” BJP spokesman Arun Gupta told Express.
In her speech in Legislative Assembly on January 30, Mehbooba had said those opposing Article 370 of Indian constitution granting special status to the State were “anti-national”.
“Anybody weakening Article 370 will be doing the biggest anti-national act,” she had said and warned that disturbing it would go not only against the interests of the State and but the country as well.
Gupta said the stand of BJP, which has been demanding abrogating of the Article 370, is absolutely clear.
“We are into the governance for the development of the State. And as per ‘Agenda of Alliance’, we are not raising any issues, which will come in the way of the development of the State”.
He said J&K needs the development as all the successive governments in the State had not done anything. “We definitely don’t want to follow their path”.
“We favour abrogation of Article 370,” Gupta said adding but the party is not touching those issues at all for the development of the state.
BJP’s Kashmir spokesman Khalid Jehangir said abrogation of Article 370 is the ideology and part and parcel of the saffron party.
He said BJP has formed the coalition government with PDP for good governance in the State.
“We have temporarily left aside our demand for abrogation of Article 370. The same way PDP has left aside its demand on self rule,” Jehangir said.
A day after Mehbooba’s remarks on Article 370, BJP legislator Rajiv Jasrotia had raised the issue in the Assembly and asked CM to follow the “coalition dharma”. On his request, Speaker Kavinder Gupta expunged the CM’s remarks on Article 370 labelling those opposing it as “anti-nationals”.
The Speaker later retracted his statement saying he will go through the footage to see whether Mehbooba had used the word “anti-national” and later claimed that Mehbooba did not refer to BJP in her statement.
After uproar and commotion in the Assembly for two days on CM’s Article 370 remarks, the Speaker on February 1 adjourned the house sine-die a weak ahead of scheduled closure of budget session of the Assembly.
The BJP and PDP forged alliance to run coalition government after no party got clear mandate in 2014 Assembly elections in the State. The PDP emerged as single largest party in 87-member J&K Assembly with 28 seats, most of them from Valley while BJP emerged as second large party with 25 seats, all of them from Jammu region.
The parties were engaged in hard negotiations for three months after the declaration of result of the Assembly elections and formed the coalition government on March 1, 2015 after framing Common Minimum Programme named “Agenda of Alliance”.
In the Agenda of Alliance, the two parties have maintained that the present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K, including the special status in the Constitution of India.