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Blaming Article 370 of the Constitution for creationof a "separatist emotion", the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP said today that the timehas come for the people of the state to say goodbyeto it and also Article 35 A. Both these articles, instead of being beneficial to the people of the state, have done a great damage and hamper progress and development, claimed J&K BJP spokesperson Prof Virender Gupta. "The time has come when the people of Jammu and Kashmir should say goodbye to Article 370 and ask the Government of Indiato revoke Article 35 A," he said. Article 370 grants special status to J&K while Article 35 A empowers the state legislature to define permanent citizens. "The prevailing situation in the Valley shows that Article 370 has created a separatist psyche and acts as a breeding ground for separatist emotion", Gupta said. The Article is responsible for keeping the settled issue of Jammu and Kashmir alive,motivated and encourages the separatists and external forces to interfere in the internal matters of India and challenge the integrity of the country, he added. He said that Article 370 has led to increasing alienation of the people of the Valley from India and in taking them away from the national mainstream. The Kashmiri leadership for its own vested political interests always indulged in a competitive game to exploit the people in the name of Article 370, he alleged. The BJP spokesperson said that in spite of large scale funding from the Government of India, Jammu and Kashmir has not been able to develop its own sustainable economy and has remained underdeveloped and backward in many fields. Industrialists and business houses from outside hesitate to open ventures in the state and as a result it is facing the crisis of unemployment and migration of skilled and talented youth to the rest of the country, he added. "Academicians and experts from the rest of the country are discouraged because of the Article to contribute in the educational growth of the state", he claimed. Gupta alleged that Article 370 is also responsible for widening the mistrust and alienation between the people of the Valley and those of Jammu and Ladakh regions. He called upon the people of Jammu and Kashmir to also look into the utility of Article 35A claiming it was "most discriminatory" and differentiated between men and women with regard to their rights as citizen of the state. The BJP is a part of the ruling alliance in J&K where it has partnered the PDP.
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