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Union Minister slams Saifuddin Soz over Article 370 warning


Press Trust of India Mumbai
Union Minister Giriraj Singh Monday alleged Congress leader Saifuddin Soz does not aspire for an undivided India given his warning over any repealing of Article 370 that accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Soz, a former Union Minister who hails from the militancy-affected state, had Sunday warned that Kashmir's ties with India will get severed if Article 370 of the Constitution is scrapped.
Singh, a BJP leader, said anyone who believes in a united India will not say such a thing.
"Jiske dil mein bharat ke prati, akhanda bharat ke prati, Soz ke dil mein nahi hai, wahi aisa shabd keh sakta hai jiske zuban mein akhanda bharat ki kalpana hai woh aise shabda ka prayog nahi kar sakta (Soz does not aspire for an undivided India that's why he can say so)," he said.
Singh was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a government event to promote entrepreneurship among women here.
Singh, who holds the portfolio for micro, small and medium enterprises, asked the Congress to clarify its stance on abolition of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, which give special treatment to Jammu and Kashmir.
The two Articles relate to special status of Jammu and Kashmir and certain rights and privileges of its residents.
Refusing to spell out the government's thinking on the matter amid concerns whether the Centre is mulling to take the ordinance route for scrapping the two articles, which has led to tensions in the Kashmir Valley over the weekend, Singh said the BJP has already made its stance clear on this.
"Another Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar meets and greets the separatists in Kashmir. They abuse the military there. What are we supposed to understand from such acts of theirs.
"Congress needs to first clarify its stand on this issue first," he said, adding the BJP has already stated its views on the subject.
It can be noted that the BJP has a stated policy of opposing the special status granted to the north Indian state, and has also mentioned it in its manifesto. Jammu and Kashmir is presently under Governor's rule.
The Governor's office had Sunday clarified it will ask for a deferral of the hearing in the Supreme Court on the matter, saying only an elected government should take a stand on it.
Singh Monday dared those who don't want the Articles to be abolished to publicly air their views.
Reacting to criticism by a few Congress leaders on the National War memorial, the minister said, "Those who abuse the Army can only make such comments. The memorial is in the memory of the martyrs. Their comments shows that they don't have such feelings for them."

On the comments made by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "royal" dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj, Singh said, "Those who want to politicise everything, they can make politics out of anything.
"If Modi takes a dip, if he washes feet of the poor, they want to politicise everything."

Criticising Modi's dip, Mayawati had, earlier in the day tweeted, "Will a SHAHI dip in Sangam by PM Modi be able to wash sins of reneging poll promises,treachery & other state wrongs?

"Not possible for people to forgive BJP easily for making their life miserable through deeds of Notebandi, GST, vengeance, casteism, communal and authoritarian rule.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 7:50 PM IST

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