NEW DELHI: The Central government on Tuesday told Lok Sabha that there is no proposal to scrap Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir gave the statement while replying to a written question from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ashwini Kumar. "There is currently no such proposal under consideration of the government," Ahir said.
Kumar had asked whether the government was committed to scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution. He had also asked about the present status of Article 370 and the procedure for scrapping it. Ahir denied in his one-line reply.
While scrapping Article 370 was part of the BJP's political manifesto, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with which the saffron party is in an alliance, has been remained silent on the demand.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and Gaurav Gogoi also questioned the government over the comment of Centre's interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma on violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Ahir said Sharma had recently visited border areas in view of recent ceasefire violations and suggested some measures for the local population, which included shifting residents and constructing bunkers.
Ahir said the government was keen to bring peace in the state and was ready to hold dialogue with all sections of society who shun the path of violence. He also added that the government has continuously encouraged policies to bring youth to the mainstream. These include providing employment opportunities to wean them away from terrorism.
Sharma had recently said that he was 'pained' by the cycle of violence in the Valley but hopeful of a peaceful summer this year as many people, especially the youth, had assured him of working as peace ambassadors in the state. "Athough I am pained by repeated cycle of violence in Kashmir, I am quite hopeful of a peaceful summer this year. I have full faith in people of Jammu and Kashmir particularly the youth," he had said.