Days after Centre abrogated special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the spirit of ‘one nation and one Constitution’ has become a reality and ‘India is proud of that’.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in Delhi, the PM said that the old arrangement in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged corruption and nepotism. He said there was injustice when it came to rights of women, children, Dalits and tribal communities. “The dreams of sanitation workers were incomplete. How can we accept such a situation,” he said.
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Criticising previous governments at the Centre, he said, “If this (Article 370) was so important and life-changing, why was this Article not made permanent. After all, those people had large mandates and could have removed the temporary status of Article 370.”
Lauding his government for diluting Article 370 from the India Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir “in less than 70 days of the new government”, he said, “Article 370 has become history, and in both Houses of Parliament, 2/3rd of the members supported this step.”
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Acknowledging that there will be obstacles, the PM said, “We have to work to overcome them. We want to serve Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh.”
The Centre on August 5 abrogated Article 370, an election promise of the BJP, and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Top mainstream political leaders – former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have put under house arrest. Though restrictions have been eased from Jammu, Srinagar and other parts of Valley have been under lockdown.