MoS talks of debate on Article 370; Omar, Mehbooba fume

Controversial remarks from Minister of State in Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s office about a debate on the relevance of Article 370 that gives a special statust to Jammu and Kashmir has evoked sharp reactions from state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and main opposition PDP.

PTI| Last Updated: May 28, 2014, 00:52 AM IST

New Delhi/Srinagar: Controversial remarks from Minister of State in Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s office about a debate on the relevance of Article 370 that gives a special statust to Jammu and Kashmir has evoked sharp reactions from state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and main opposition PDP.

First-time Lok Sabha member Jitendra Singh, who was a surprise choice for the PMO, said Modi government is open to debate on merits and demerits of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir and would make efforts to "convince" the "unconvinced" by holding contact programmes with every section of society in the state.
57-year-old Singh, who was elected from Udhampur Lok Sabha seat, said BJP was working "very professionally" on this issue and has been calling meetings in the Kashmir Valley.

"We have succeeded in convincing some of them (on repealing Article 370)," he told reporters after taking over as Minister for state for Department of Personnel and Training.

However, his statement drew angry reaction from Omar who shot off his tweets saying Article 370 was the "ONLY Constitutional link" between the state and the rest of the country.

Omar said "Mark my words and save this tweet - long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won`t be part of India or Art 370 will still exist."
He wondered over the statement about Article 370 coming so soon. "So the new MoS PMO says process/discussions to revoke Art 370 have started. Wow, that was a quick beginning. Not sure who is talking."

PDP said the Prime Minister and the BJP leadership should rein in Singh before his utterances about revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution cause serious damage.