Friday 27 May 2022
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Even a proposition of debate freaks out Omar

This morning, Minister of State, PMO, Jitendra Singh described a government process put in place in two different ways. To Press Trust of India, he said the Narendra Modi Government was open to debate on merits and demerits of for Jammu & Kashmir and would make efforts to “convince” the “unconvinced” by holding contact programmes with every section of society in the state.

CNN-IBN, through its Twitter handle @ibnlive made it a bit sensational: “We are in the process of repealing Article 370: MoS PMO Jitendra Singh”. The same words appeared in the television channel’s caption for hours on end even though the report on its website carried the full quote. The website quoted the minister as saying: “The BJP has won more than half of the seats from Jammu & Kashmir. So we will interpret this as an endorsement of the BJP’s stand. is more like a psychological barrier.”

It was too much of a provocation for Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The chief minister shot off tweets saying was the “ONLY Constitutional link” between his State and the rest of the country. “Talk of revocation of (sic) not just ill informed it’s irresponsible,” he further tweeted. In the previous tweet, he had got carried away, making a pronouncement: “Mark my words & save this tweet – long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either won’t be part of India or Art 370 will still exist.”


of the Indian Constitution

Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution,—

(a) the provisions of article 238 shall not apply in relation to the state of Jammu and Kashmir;
(b) the power of Parliament to make laws for the said state shall be limited to—

(i) those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State, are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws for that State; and
(ii) such other matters in the said Lists as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.

Explanation: For the purpose of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognized by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office.

(c) the provisions of article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to that State;
(d) such of the other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify:
Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession of the State referred to in paragraph (i) of sub-clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the Government of the State:
Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred to in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of that Government.

(2) If the concurrence of the Government of the State referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) or in the second proviso to sub-clause (d) of that clause be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify:
Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

Clearly, even the proposition of a debate on the contentious provision freaks these blind supporters of the law out. Leave the sensational tweet of @ibnlive aside, what did the MoS actually say?

“His (Modi’s) intention and that of the government is that we have a debate so that we can convince the unconvinced about the disadvantages of Article 370. If we do not have debate and discussion how would you be able to tell those who have been unable to understand what they have been deprived of on account of Article 370,” Singh said after taking over as Minister of State incharge of Department of Personnel and Training, which has administrative control over the CBI.

The repealing of the Article has been a poll promise of the BJP. The BJP has been opposing the special status for Jammu & Kashmir since very long. It had earlier claimed that it could not repeal the Article during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government’s tenure due to the lack of a majority of its own members in Parliament.

“We have succeeded in convincing some of them (on repealing Article 370),” he told reporters after assuming office. What’s your problem, Mr Abdullah? A law cannot be a non-negotiable gospel.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasgupta
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sirf News Surajit Dasgupta has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life, the first national affairs editor of Swarajya, executive editor of Hindusthan Samachar and desk head of MyNation

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