The bill for the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A was drafted by Arun Jaitley after he was assigned to do so by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, revealed Sangeeta Jaitley, wife of the late BJP leader who served as the Finance Minister in the Modi Cabinet from 2014-2019.
“Prime Minister had told Arun (Jaitley) to draft such a bill for abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A that could withstand any legal scrutiny,” Sangeeta disclosed in a video clip of four and half minutes that was uploaded to congratulate the people on the first anniversary of August 5 – the day when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was done away with and the state was bifurcated into union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Sangeeta, who married Arun Jaitley in May 1982, is the daughter of Girdhari Lal Dogra – the longest-serving Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sangeeta also hailed Home Minister Amit Shah for the “effective implementation” of the bill drafted by her husband.
Narrating the sequence of events, Sangeeta said on certain days before the bill was to be moved in Parliament “I found Arunji engrossed in reading J&K constitution (J&K had its own constitution by virtue of Article 370)”.
“When I asked him why he being such a renowned lawyer was reading J&K constitution time and again, he replied, ‘Article 370 has to be abrogated’.”
She also disclosed that there was a meeting between the PM, the Home Minister and Arun Jaitley where it was decided to abrogate Article 370 with a legally sound draft, and that is what Arun did.
Expressing her satisfaction over the post-August 5 developments, Sangeeta said Jammu and Kashmir has found doors opened for an all-round progress.
Jammu has become an educational hub, the investment has started flowing into J&K and Ladakh and the local industry has started flourishing, she said.
Sangeeta compared these developments to her days as a child when her father, who also held the portfolio of industries, used to request the industrialists to come and invest in J&K.
On his (GL Dogra) persuasion, KK Birla had set up a multi-crore Chenab Textile Mill in Kathua. But there was no further investment because of the barriers created by Article 370, she recalled.