Itanagar, Nov 5: Hailing the decision of the central government to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said that history has proved that the journey of the separate status provided under the said Article has been towards separatism and not integration.
“Article 370 was inserted in the Constitution of India as a temporary provision due to the political circumstances of the time and has resulted in deprivation of fruits of development to the common people,” Khandu said at the 8th Rutum Kamgo Memorial Lecture on the topic ‘Abrogation of Article 370 and 35A: A step towards national integration.
“It (Article 370 ) created a feeling of separatism which has been actively fomented and leveraged by our neighboring countries to disturb peace and tranquility in the nation,” he pointed out.
“It’s been 70 years since India attained Independence. But for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladhak real Independence came this year after abrogation of Article 370,” he said.
Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the historic decision, Khandu voiced confidence that corruption that misappropriated thousands of crore rupees pumped by central government for development of the state will now end and real development will begin.
“Now with this historic decision, I am sure that the people of the beautiful region will be able experience the promise of new India, with creation of more jobs, access to quality education and health care and a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
In the same breath, Khandu asserted that the special provisions dealing with welfare of North Eastern regions and tribal areas contained in Articles 371 (a) to (j) are special provisions and not temporary, which will remain as it is. These being special provisions are permanent in nature and are aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of the states, he added.
He further said that as Modi and Shah have a soft corner for the North East, they will not take any decision without first consulting with the states of the region.
Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, lambasted those who opposed abrogation of the Article 370 blaming them of giving it a communal colour.
Delivering the key-note address of the Lecture, Sarangi said, “No one knows why the Article was inserted in the Constitution at the first place. But as it was a temporary provision, it had to go one day. Crying foul now has no meaning.”
Adding to Khandu’s assertion on Article 371 that encompasses the North East, Sarangi said that Article 370 was a temporary provision and had to go but Article 371 is a permanent provision, it will stay.
“Article 371, permanent in nature, is to protect the unique cultural demography of the North-Eastern states. Why should it be removed? Please don’t fall prey to rumormongers,” he said.
Marveling at the state’s unique culture and natural bounty, the Union Minister promised that his ministry will provide support and funds as much as possible for implementation of central government schemes feasible in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sarangi informed that he and officials of his ministry had a fruitful review meeting with state government officials and will jointly work out a proper roadmap for implementation of all government programs related to his ministries.