BJP downplays U-turn on Article 370

BJP on Sunday sought to downplay its U- turn on Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, in light of the agreement with its ruling coalition partner PDP to maintain status quo on the controversial provision.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 01, 2015, 20:46 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP on Sunday sought to downplay its U- turn on Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, in light of the agreement with its ruling coalition partner PDP to maintain status quo on the controversial provision.

"As far as divergence of views is concerned, to agree to disagree is a part of democratic practice which the two parties have decided to live up to," Union Minister Jitendra Singh told PTI here.

The coalition government led by People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today took over the reins in J&K.

BJP and PDP have agreed to maintain status quo on Article 370 although the saffron outfit has for long sought the scrapping of the provision.

Singh, a Lok Sabha MP from J&K's Udhampur constituency, said PDP and BJP are both committed to making the best of the historic opportunity available to them and are looking to focus on issues of development and good governance.

"Equitable utilisation of available resources among all the three regions of J&K -- Ladakh, Jammu and Srinagar -- has always been a matter of concern. Hope the new government will focus on it," said Singh, who is a Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office.

He said that the Centre will extend all possible help to J&K to ensure its development.

"The central government, particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has always gone out of the way to help J&K in normal circumstances as well as in catastrophes like last year's floods in the state.

"The Modi government will offer all possible assistance to J&K," added Singh.

Modi and other senior BJP leaders today attended the swearing-in ceremony of the Mufti government in Jammu, ending 49 days of Governor's rule in the state.