Mehbooba Mufti's statement came after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday pointed out how Article 370 and 35A are crippling Jammu and Kashmir and denying basic human rights
New Delhi: Once again former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has threatened the nation with consequences if the oppressive and discriminatory Articles 370 and the illegal 35A are abrogated.
Mufti’s statement came after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday made a case for the same, citing underdevelopment and denial of basic human rights to a large population of the state under the Article 35A.
Reacting to Jaitley, the PDP chief threatened that “new conditions” would arise if the “bridge” of Article 370 was breached. She also said that in such a situation the relationship between India and Jammu and Kashmir would have to be “renegotiated”. In essence, she threatened if Article 370 and Article 35A are scrapped, Jammu and Kashmir will snap ties with India.
While Mufti unleashed her extremist threats, sounding much like the Pak-sponsored separatists of the Valley, she did not answer key issues raised by the finance minister.
MyNation breaks the Jaitley’s statements in five major questions, which Mufti needs to answer before delivering any more warnings
1. Human rights and right to equality
Jaitley raised the issue of discrimination between citizens under Article 35A. “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. They cannot own property and their children cannot get admitted to governmental institutions. The same applies to those who live elsewhere in the country. The heirs of ladies marrying outside the state are disinherited from owning or inheriting property,” Jaitley said in his blog.
2. Stunted growth
Jaitley pointed at the economic loss of the state itself under the oppressive regime of this law.
“The State does not have adequate financial resources. Its ability to raise more has been crippled by Article 35A. No investor is willing to set up an industry, hotel, private educational institutions or private hospitals since he can neither buy land or property nor can his executives do so. Their ward cannot get government jobs or admission to colleges. Today, there are no major national or international chains which have set up a hotel in a tourism-centric State. This prevents enrichment, resource generation and job creation,” the finance minister added.
“Students have to travel all over, including Nepal and Bangladesh, to get college admissions. Engineering colleges and hospitals, including super-speciality facilities, set up by Central government in Jammu, are lying under-utilized or unutilised since Professors and Doctors from outside are unwilling to go there. Article 35A has prevented investment and dismantled the State’s economy,” he added.
3. Dynastic politics and separatism
The finance minister, without taking names, pointed out that the politics of the state had been dominated by three families since 1947 — “Two of them are based out of Srinagar and one in New Delhi”.
“Regrettably, they let down the people of the State. The two major mainstream parties, even when they condemned terrorism, it was always with ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’,” he wrote in his blog.
4. Rule of Law
“Why should the rule of law that applies to the rest of the country not apply to the State?” Jaitley asked.
The finance minister also wrote in his blog, “Should violence, separatism, mass stone throwing, vicious ideological indoctrination be allowed on the plea that if we check it, it will have a negative effect. It is this misconceived policy that has proved to be counter-productive. Today, the present government has decided that the rule of law in the interest of the people of Kashmir Valley and the larger interest of India, must equally apply to the State of Jammu & Kashmir.”
5. Regime of development under Centre
The senior minister cited how Centre-led development had worked wonders in the state
“Today, the Government offices are opening and working regularly. Attendance has gone up. Several corrupt officials have been booked and are in prison. Nepotism in appointment has been done away with…Multiple legislations have been passed and several legislative measures taken by the Central Government for SC/ST and weaker sections, have been extended to the State,” he pointed out.
Jaitley also added, “Infrastructure projects, including the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation for both the cities of Jammu & Kashmir, the Ring Road for the two cities, AIIMS in both the regions, an IIT and an IIM in Srinagar and Jammu respectively are projects which have been resolved in the last few months and are progressing further. Fifty new colleges in the State have been sanctioned and 232 schools upgraded.”
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Last Updated Mar 31, 2019, 12:49 PM IST