Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor
New Delhi: After BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s calls for debate on the controversial Article 370 sparked war of words and attracted ire of political parties including the mainstream J&K parties and separatists, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Wednesday defended Modi and said that Article 370 has nothing to do with Secularism.
“Modi’s speech at Jammu invited Omar Abdullah’s response. After long, Article 370 is being seriously debated in this country,” Jaitley said. Should provision like Article 35A which exists only because of Article 370 have place in civilized society, questioned Jaitley. He added that it is oppressive.
Union Minister Farooq Abdullah talking to reporters today said if Modi wants to be the PM of India then he should unite the nation and not divide.
Farooq earlier said that even if Modi becomes PM for ten terms, he will not be able to do away with Article 370. “You talk of debate, BJP does not indulge in any debate," Farooq had told reporters.
"Integration of J&K is an essential part of the ideology of the BJP. Separate status has led towards separatism and not integration," Jaitley said yesterday.
Almost the entire political spectrum criticised Modi’s statement over special status to Jammu and Kashmir as "unwarranted and unacceptable".