J&K: BJP shifts stand,Modi calls for debate on Article 370

There should be a discussion on whether Article 370 benefits the common man or not,Modi said.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Published: December 2, 2013 12:48:18 am

The BJP appeared to soften its stand on scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir,with its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi saying there should be a debate on it.

Addressing a rally here,Modi said,“At least,there should be a discussion… on whether Article 370 has benefited the common man in the state or not.”

BJP president Rajnath Singh said if Article 370 is proved to be beneficial,the BJP would stand by it. These views mark a departure from the BJP’s earlier position seeking complete abrogation of the provision.

However,Modi also pointed out that late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said that Article 370 would go with time. “Will Congress go with Nehru’s statement?” he asked.

“Article 370 has been used as a shield in J&K for resorting to communalism,” said Modi. Referring to the provision,Modi claimed women had not been given equal rights in the state.

“Omar (Abdullah) married outside Kashmir,his rights of being a citizen remain… his sister Sara loses the right for the same (for marrying a person from outside the state). Is this not discrimination against the women,” he asked.

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