NEW DELHI — A day after the release of the BJP manifesto which promised removal of article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that it was hindering development of the state.
In an interview to a TV channel, Modi said former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies were being an obstacle for the development in the Valley.
”The situation in Kashmir is such that people want change, whether it is about Article 35A or 370,” the Prime Minister said in an interview to News 18. ”The problem in Kashmir is largely due to the 50-odd political families there. They have been milking the issue. They don’t want any benefit to be given to the common Kashmiri people. They are using public sentiment for political gains. The income tax department has cracked down on such elements.”
Modi said it was Nehru’s policies which were being an obstacle for the development in the Valley.
“There must be investment and job opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. 35A, 370 have been standing in the way of development. No one goes there to invest. We can build IIMs, but professors are not ready to go there as their children don’t get admission in schools.
They can’t find homes. This ends up harming the interests of Jammu and Kashmi. Pandit Nehru’s policies stand as an obstacle for the state today. It needs to be reviewed,” the Prime Minister said.
In its manifesto, Sankalp Patra, the BJP has promised the abrogation of Article 370 if the party retains power in the Lok Sabha elections.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said there will be no option with the government but to abolish the special status to Jammu and Kashmir in the Constitution if there is a demand for a separate Prime Minister for the militancy-affected state.
Earlier, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had said that his party would strive for restoring the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir that includes having a ‘Sadar-e-Riyasat’ (President) and ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Prime Minister).
“Someone who has been chief minister for a long time has said that there should be a Prime Minister in Jammu and Kashmir. If someone talks like that, we will have no option other than abolishing Article 370 and Article 35A,” Singh said.