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Reject Article 370 as Kashmir’s connect to India:Jaitley

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New Delhi, April 15: Calling the issue of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir the biggest challenge before India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said it cannot be solved until the “failed obsolete thought” of Article 370 as a “loose constitutional connect” between the state and the rest of the country is rejected.

He said the challenge needs a fresh approach and only a strong government and a leader with clarity alone was capable of resolving the Kashmir issue.

 

Referring to the past Congress governments, he said the challenge cannot be resolved by those who created the problem and who believe that a “loose constitutional connect” will lead to integration.

He added that it could only be done through a fresh approach “which is uncompromising on terror” and “committed to total integration” and through “reversal of the historical blunders”.

Targeting the Congress, Jaitley said it was identified with the creation of the problem itself by “wishing the issue away” when Pakistan did not reconcile to Kashmir being a part of India.

“Instead of working for total integration, the party wanted a loose and liberal constitutional connect between rest of the nation and the state under an erroneous impression that such an arrangement would further the cause of integration,” he said in a Facebook post.

“Article 370 was disastrously thought out as a constitutional connect between rest of the country and the state. Article 35A was surreptitiously introduced in 1954. It catered to a separatist psyche and legitimised discrimination,” he added.

Jaitley said militant supported from across the border “can’t be fought either with velvet gloves or a policy of appeasement”.

“This challenge can obviously be resolved with a fresh approach which is uncompromising on terror, uncompromising in its determination to enforce the rule of law and committed to total integration. A strong government and a leader with clarity alone is capable of resolving the Kashmir issue,” he said.

Targeting National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he said the two regional parties were, of late, more strident in advocating secession of the state if firm measures are taken.

Development in the state has suffered due to terror and both democracy and secularism had been a casualty in the valley, he added.

The BJP leader said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have to be at the centre point in India’s strategy and they should get opportunities, peace and security of life, and freedom from terror.

“A state free from terror itself will imply much lesser security presence.”

Jaitley also attacked the opposition on the issue of Pulwama suicide bombing and Balakot strike saying whenever the two issues were raised, the opposition parties were on the back-foot and questioned why national security and militancy were being made into subject matters of electoral debates.

“India’s opposition argues that elections have to be fought on the ‘real issues’ and not on the issues of national security. It is my endeavour to argue that national security and militancy are the most important issues which concern India in the long run. All other challenges are capable of early resolution,” he said.

Jaitley said that poverty was declining at a fast pace, urbanisation was increasing, the size of middle class was growing and the economy was expanding, which would result in creation of jobs.

“These are all challenges that India is capable of capturing and resolving over the next decade or two,” he said asking the question on where India stood on the issue of national security and terror.

He said peace was established in Punjab, Northeast and in the South, and that the operation of Maoist terror was restricted and narrow.

“As the economic profile of India move upwards, it will become extremely difficult for the Maoists to sustain their violent movement to overthrow democracy. The security ‘might’ of the State is far superior to handle this movement. The same, however, can’t be said of what is happening in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism emanating from region,” he added.


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We had Allah with us, says Morgan after England’s historic win

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After leading the England men’s team to their maiden World Cup glory, skipper Eoin Morgan said that “we had Allah with us” and also mentioned that New Zealand had a better outing as compared to the hosts.

Empathising with the Kiwis, who lost the match on the basis of boundaries after both the regulation 50 overs and the Super Over ended in ties on Sunday.

Morgan on New Zealand’s campaign: “They’ve been actually through a better tournament than we have. The fact a trophy is sitting here is, you know — like I mentioned, we got the rub of the green today,” Morgan said during the post-match conference.

He added, “New Zealand, throughout the group stages, were absolutely outstanding, very consistent and in the semifinal were very ruthless in playing against India, India are an extremely strong team.”

Morgan on becoming the first captain to lead England men to World Cup glory: “I hope it (life) hasn’t changed that much. I enjoy my life. I lead quite a quiet one, so I hope it hasn’t changed too much. I would love it to change for everybody else who wants it to change, but I enjoy my life.”

On being asked if it was Irishman’s luck: “We had Allah with us as well. I spoke to Adil (Rashid), he said Allah was definitely with us. I said we had the rub of the green (smiling).”

Morgan is an Irish by birth, Ben Stokes a New Zealander, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are second-generation Pakistanis, Jason Roy, a South African.

Speaking on the diversity in the England squad: “It actually epitomises our team. Diverse backgrounds and cultures and guys grew up in different countries and to actually find humour in the situation we were in at times was pretty cool.”

Speaking on his future: “We will let the dust settle, we’ll celebrate as hard as we can. I think it’s deserved. And then we will look at things. Four years is a long time away. I think the big question I will have to answer is will I be in the team in four years, will I be good enough? These guys are improving very quickly. Will I be able to keep up with them.”

England’s World Cup-winning football legend Bobby Moore and rugby icon Martin Johnson’s black visage is carved on Mount Rushmore.

On being asked if he wants a similar sculpture: “Not at all. There’s no Mount Rushmore. Primrose Hill, that’s about it.”

Concluding with an emotional tribute, Morgan said: “They are the best, and they do it in a fashion that you’d have no qualms in turning around to your kid and saying, ‘Please idolise these guys, they are very admirable.’ They are.”

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Muslims with 50 wives, 1,050 kids ‘animalistic’: BJP MLA

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In a statement that could stir controversy, BJP MLA from Ballia, Surendra Singh, has said that Muslims who have many wives and children in large numbers have an “animalistic tendency.”

“In the Muslim religion, you know that people keep 50 wives and give birth to 1050 children. This is not a tradition but an animalistic tendency. In society, giving birth to only two to four children is normal,” the BJP leader said while speaking to reporters in Ballia on Sunday.

Surendra Singh has been in the news, time and again, for his controversial statements.

 

Last year in July, the Ballia legislator had said that every Hindu couple must have at least five children for Hindutva to remain intact.

Surendra Singh, in an interview to ANI, had said this step is necessary to increase the population of Hindus in India.

“It is the desire of every spiritual leader (mahant) for every couple to have a minimum of five children. This way the population will be under control, and Hindutva would remain intact,” Surendra Singh said.

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Babri demolition: Special judge seeks 6 months’ time to conclude trial

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New Delhi, July 15: A special judge holding trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case, involving BJP veterans LK Advani, MM Joshi and others, on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking six more months to conclude the trial in the case.

The special judge, in a letter written in May, has informed the top court that he is due to superannuate on September 30, 2019.The matter came up for hearing on Monday before a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman, which asked the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise it by July 19 of a mechanism by which the tenure of the special judge could be extended till he delivered the verdict in the high-profile case.

On April 19, 2017, the top court had ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years in the case.

 
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