Kashmir reaping benefits of Article 370 abrogation: J&K BJP leader

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): BJP General Secretary for Jammu and Kashmir Ashok Koul today said people of Kashmir have started to reap the benefits of Article 370 roll back as stone-pelting on streets has completely vanished and there are no clashes or law and order issues at encounter sites now.

Talking to media persons at BJP’s Srinagar headquarters on the eve of birth anniversary of BJP founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the BJP leader said that even the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru had announced that Article 370 was temporary. “Talking about 35 A, the question is where did this come from? It was incorporated through a presidential notification which was wrong and totally unconstitutional,” Koul said.

The BJP leader said that all the regional leaders, be those from the National Conference of the PDP, played politics over  Article 370 and 35 A just to ensure that they remain in power. “Common people in Kashmir or Jammu got nothing and instead were befooled on one or the other pretext by the regional political parties,” he said.

He said people of J&K were kept in the dark for the past 70 years by none other than the leaders of political parties that ruled the erstwhile state. “Today, benefits of rollback of Article 370 are clear: Stone pelting has completely vanished and there is no protest or civilian killing at the encounter sites,” Koul said.

About former Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s recent announcement to part ways from the amalgam, Koul said: “Geelani is a veteran politician. He has been in the Assembly and knows the benefits of democracy. Had he taken the decision of quitting Hurriyat earlier, perhaps Kashmir would not have seen this much of bloodshed and chaos.”

Koul praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the special economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore for the Covid-hit states and UTs and free ration to poor. “I urge the J&K administration to ensure that all the benefits reach the common people of Kashmir,” he said.

He said that today’s function was organized by the BJP’s Srinagar unit to pay tributes to party founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who was born in 1901 in a modest family in Kolkata. “Today, we remembered our leader and paid him floral tributes,” Koul said.