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Kashmir doesn’t belong to Mehbooba Mufti: Arun Jaitley

JT
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressing media after the 22nd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav(PTI10_6_2017_000240A)


New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slammed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti over her recent remark that India’s relation with the region would become that of ‘occupation’ if Article 370 is removed.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Jaitley described Mehbooba’s suggestion as ‘preposterous’ and added that the BJP-led NDA government’s priority for Kashmir is peace and security along with development.

 

“I think Kashmir doesn’t belong to Mehbooba Mufti. The two mainstream parties of the state are letting both the state and people, the Kashmiris, down. They are also letting India down. They can’t run with the horse and hunt with the hounds,” Jaitley said referring to both PDP and Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference.

Clarifying on the special status awarded to Jammu and Kashmir in Constitution, Jaitley underlined that neither Article 371 nor 35A, Article 370 was not a part of the instrument of accession which was finalised in October 1947. The senior BJP leader said that Article 35A was added secretively in 1954.

“There’s no provision for secession of any territory from India. Some constitutions have it, India doesn’t. No Indian or any government can do it. This is as absurd an argument,” Jaitley said.

Responding to a question over P Chidambaram’s remark on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Jaitley slammed the former finance minister saying that while the UPA failed to normalise situation in parts of northeastern states like Arunachal Paradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya, the BJP government withdrew the Act after situation improved in the region.

Mehbooba Mufti has been raising the pitch on the issue in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, warning the ruling BJP of any attempt to tamper with Article 35-A and Article 370.

“The relationship between our state and the country is based on our special constitutional position that legitimises it. If we remove, what legalises this relationship, it will turn into an occupation and colonisation,” she had said addressing party workers on Baramulla district.