Jammu, August 18: The Centre’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir were taken after “thorough research” in accordance with constitutional provisions and can withstand any legal challenge, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
Defending the Centre’s decision to scrap special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and divide the state into two union territories, Singh said, “Nothing happened overnight. The bill was prepared by knowledgeable persons after a thorough research of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.”
“Clause 3 of Article 370 empowers the President to declare any part of the provision inoperative totally or by exception anytime. It is in Jammu and Kashmir Constitution as well. Article 366 makes it clear that in the absence of Assembly, the governor is the legal authority,” he added.
The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office was addressing a citizens’ meet at the BJP office here.
Since the government moves were effected earlier this month, several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging them
Singh expressed confidence that the Centre’s decisions would withstand any legal challenge.
“There will be no stay order…the move was worked out in accordance with the special provision and Jammu and Kashmir Constitution,” he said.
The Supreme Court had on Friday refrained from examining the legal challenges to the changes made in the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir, saying the petitions filed on the “serious issue” suffered from defects.
He criticised the Congress and the Kashmir-centric parties for their opposition to the moves.
The Congress and its Kashmir-centric allies such as the National Conference (NC) are rattled because the myth of Article 370 stands exposed, he said.
The Congress and its dynastic allies had dominated the political landscape for several decades by claiming that Article 370 was irrevocable and, at the same time, also sought to make the whole world believe that they are the only political option available for running the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh said, besides the setback to development, people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh had suffered a huge damage by way of psychological isolation because of Article 370, which prevented them from nourishing themselves with a sense of belonging like citizens in other parts of India.
Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will now embark on a new journey as a part of a global India, the union minister said.
“Only a handful of those who are worried about their fate are the ones who had been beneficiaries of 8 to 10-per cent voter turnout in the Valley, which enabled them to perpetuate their dynastic rule for generations together,” he said.
He said the people and the state administration need to be congratulated for ensuring that Independence Day and Eid festivities passed off peacefully, whereas over the last three decades, each year “we have witnessed violence and untoward incidents on these occasions in spite of prolonged spells of curfew and other restrictions”.
Jitendra Singh’s ministerial colleague Giriraj Singh criticised the Congress over the Jammu and Kashmir moves.
Speaking to reporters in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, Giriraj Singh said that “only those supporting extremism and terrorism are scared” after the government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
He said the government is firmly committed to eradicating terrorism.
He reiterated the government stand that “intervention of third party on Kashmir issue is unacceptable to India”.
He said talks with Pakistan was possible only when it proves its sincerity in eliminating terrorism. “Proxy war in the form of terrorist activities and negotiations cannot go on at the same time,” the Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy said. (PTI)