‘Article 370 disastrously thought out constitutional connect between JK, India’
Calling militancy in Jammu Kashmir the biggest challenge before India, senior BJP leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday said it cannot be solved until the "failed obsolete thought" of Article 370 as a "loose constitutional connect" between the state and the rest of the country is rejected.
He said the challenge needs a fresh approach and only a strong government and a leader with clarity alone was capable of resolving the Kashmir issue.
Referring to the past Congress governments, he said the challenge cannot be resolved by those who created the problem and who believe that a "loose constitutional connect" will lead to integration.
Jaitley saidit could only be done through a fresh approach, "which is uncompromising on terror and committed to total integration and through reversal of the historical blunders".
Targeting the Congress, he said it was identified with the creation of the problem itself by "wishing the issue away when Pakistan did not reconcile to Kashmir being a part of India. “
"Instead of working for total integration, the party wanted a loose and liberal constitutional connect between rest of the nation and the state under an erroneous impression that such an arrangement would further the cause of integration," he said in a Facebook post.
"Article 370 was disastrously thought out as a constitutional connect between rest of the country and the state. Article 35A was surreptitiously introduced in 1954. It catered to a separatist psyche and legitimised discrimination," he added.
"India's opposition argues that elections have to be fought on the 'real issues' and not on the issues of national security. It is my endeavour to argue that national security and terrorism are the most important issues which concern India in the long run. All other challenges are capable of early resolution," Jaitley said in a facebook post titled 'Why Jammu and Kashmir, and new approach to terrorism will remain a key political issue'.
The opposition parties had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of politicising death of over 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama and Indian Air Force's retaliatory attack at Balakot in Pakistan for electoral gains.
Giving reasons for making national security and terrorism subject matters of electoral debate, Jaitley said, "it relates to country's sovereignty, integrity and security".
"Terror supported from across the border can't be fought either with velvet gloves or a policy of appeasement," he said, adding the two regional parties (PDP and NC) have played a disappointing role, and the current leadership of the opposition parties have hardly a roadmap except to tread on the path to disaster.
This challenge, Jaitley said, can be resolved with a fresh approach, which is uncompromising on terror, and determination to enforce the rule of law with commitment to total integration.
"A strong Government and a leader with clarity alone is capable of resolving the Kashmir issue. This will necessarily require reversal of the historical blunders of the past," the minister said.
He said during course of election campaign, whenever issues relating to the militant attack at Pulwama and the air strikes at Balakot are raised, India's opposition is on the back-foot.