New Delhi (India), Apr 9 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday asserted that “Kashmir is, was and will always be an integral part of India and thus it cannot have its own prime minister.”
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Rajnath said, "Kashmir will never be separated from India. Kashmir was, is and always will be an integral part of India. There cannot be two prime ministers in the country. It is absolutely clear in our election manifesto that if we form government Article 370, Article 35A will be removed."
The home minister’s comments came almost a week after former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in a speech in Kashmir's Bandipora, pitched for the revival of the posts of Prime Minister and President for Jammu and Kashmir.
When questioned about Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah’s statements that tampering with Article 370 and 35A will not bode well for India, Rajnath said, “This is their frustration, let them speak what they want, we will go ahead and do what we have to do”.
"Maybe they are giving such statements with the elections in mind, as for BJP we have written everything in the manifesto after having discussed it with the Indian people, and we will carry it out when we come back to power," he added.
BJP in their election manifesto has promised to abrogate Article 370 and do away with Article 35A of the Constitution. The manifesto says that the NDA government is committed to overcoming all obstacles that come in the way of development in J&K.
Article 35 A protects the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir with respect to employment, property and aids by the state government whereas Article 370 protects and grants special status to the sovereignty of the state giving the power to make a separate set of laws to be applied for its governance.
"There is no room for debate left, as the Home Minister, I went to Kashmir continuously for Three and a half years with no reservations, I was ready to talk with anyone. I also told the then J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti to ask them to talk with me, but they were not ready. Even Mehbooba failed at making them sit down and talk about Kashmir with me, she personally told me they were not ready to talk," he said. (ANI)