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No change in official position, want Article 370 in J&K abrogated, says RSS

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 18:30

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: As political parties try to corner Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his call to have a debate on Article 370, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesperson Ram Madhav on Tuesday accused the parties of running away from the debate.

Defending Modi, the RSS spokesperson said there has been no change in the official position over Article 370.

Taking on the political parties like Congress, JD(U), National Conference, Madhav asked why are the parties running away from having a debate on the contentious issue.

"We want Article 370 abrogated,” Madhav said.

Madhav`s reaction comes after, political parties were seen slamming the Gujarat Chief Minister, who had asked for a debate on Article 370 to decide whether it was helping the people in Jammu and Kashmir or not.

Modi`s remarks on Article 370 have drawn attacks from the Congress and the PDP while the BJP asserted that they did not signal softening of its stance on the constitutional provision giving special status to the state.

Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat called Modi`s call a gimmick. The BJP lacks issues, so the party is raking up old agenda, Rawat said.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja asked why is the BJP raising Article 370 issue when polls are approaching? Another CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said Jammu and Kashmir`s special status, which is provided by Article 370 of the Constitution, is not a debatable issue but settled for all times to come. If there is a debate over it, it is being done to cause communal tension, the veteran communist leader said.

On Monday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari had taken a dig at BJP over Modi`s suggestion for debate on the provision, saying the party was making an about turn and terming their stand "double speak".

"Is the turnaround on 370 final nail in the legacy of Vajpayee ji & Advani ji ? Venkaih (Naidu) ji signed the vis(i)on document should explain u turn!" he tweeted.

In Jammu, state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz challenged Modi to a debate on Article 370, alleging Modi has no knowledge of either the constitution or the history of the country.

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah has said that if the BJP leader becomes Prime Minister even for "ten terms", he will not be able to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution.

"Even if Narendra Modi becomes PM ten times, he will not be able to do away with Article 370. You talk of debate, BJP does not indulge in any debate," Farooq told reporters here last night.

People`s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti maintained that Article 370 of the Constitution cannot be abrogated "without the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly`s consent", and it was "no Babri Masjid to be demolished by communal forces".

First Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 18:30

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