Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari recently said that the Modi government did not scrap Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, because of “sensitive situation” in the state. The leader however maintained that the party is committed to scrapping this special provision in the Constitution.
In an interview to senior journalist Karan Thapar, he said Kashmir needed more industry and investment to create employment, but Article 370 came in the way of getting land.
“Our party has been committed to abrogating Article 370 for long. But because of the sensitive situation there (J&K), we aren’t doing it. We were in power with full majority this time, still we are not going to implement it. However, as far as the party’s philosophy, policy and approach to it (Article 370) is concerned, we are firm on it,” the union minister said, according to the transcript of the interview.
“Because of the sensitive situation, it’s not appropriate to implement that. But as far as the party is concerned, for the past many days, it is there,” he added.
“We need more hotels, restaurants, resorts. We need to increase tourism. But because of Article 370, no one can purchase land there. IT firms can’t establish their companies there. And that’s the reason people are not getting employment,” said Gadkari as he talked about the annulment of article 35A that provides “special privileges” to permanent residents.
He further talked about how he no big hotel companies like the Taj or the Oberoi were in a position to start a hotel in Kashmir.
“They don’t want to expand now. I have held discussions with them. Because there are a lot of legal problems due to this law, they can’t construct there, cannot expand. That is the problem,” said Gadkari, who holds the portfolios of Roads and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources.
Lastly, commenting on the ‘sensitive’ situation in Kashmir, the Union Minister said: “It is not because of the people of Kashmir. It’s because of Pakistan. Again, I want to repeat the same thing. After three wars with us, Pakistan has realised that they can’t win against India like that. So they have resorted to proxy war, by supporting terrorists and terrorist organisations, and they are creating problems.