NEW DELHI: Highlighting the crackdown on militants and separatists, including banning of Jamaat-e-Islami and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday rued “the historical blunder” committed by late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to sow the seeds of separatism in the Valley by inserting Article 35A in the Constitution.
“The seven decade history of J&K confronts changing India with several questions. Was the Nehruvian course, which the state had embarked upon, a historical blunder or was it the correct course to follow? Most Indians today believe that it is the former,” noted Jaitley in a blog.
He asked, “Does our policy today have to be guided by that erroneous vision or an out of box thinking which is in consonance with ground reality?”
He claimed that Article 35A was surreptitiously included by a presidential notification in the Constitution in 1954.
“It was neither a part of the original Constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly, nor did it come as a Constitutional Amendment under Article 368 of the Constitution which requires an approval by two-third majority of both Houses of Parliament. It came as a Presidential Notification and is a surreptitious executive insertion in the Constitution,” he claimed.
The minister stated that Article 35A gives the right to the state government to discriminate between citizens living in J&K by declaring some as permanent residents and leaving out others. “It also discriminates between permanent residents of the state and all other Indian citizens living elsewhere. Lakhs of Indian citizens in J&K vote in Lok Sabha elections but not in Assembly, municipal or Panchayat polls. Their children cannot get government jobs,” rued Jaitley.
Article 35A hampering development in J&K
Article 35A, which restricts non-permanent residents to buy property in J&K, is “constitutionally vulnerable”
In a blog, Jaitley said the seven-decade history of J&K confronts changing India with several questions
The BJP leader said Article 35A was “surreptitiously” included by a presidential notification in the Constitution in 1954
Article 35A, he said, was neither a part of the original Constitution nor did it come as a Constitutional Amendment under Article 368, which requires an approval by two-third majority of both Houses