New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is committed to providing statehood to Jammu and Kashmir as and when the situation becomes conducive, the party’s national vice-president and Jammu and Kashmir in-charge, Avinash Rai Khanna, told ThePrint Wednesday.
The party has also decided to publicise the Narendra Modi government’s schemes that are being implemented in the union territory, he added. Khanna was speaking after the J&K unit’s working committee meeting Tuesday.
“Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir is a commitment that the BJP government has made and we will fulfil it as the situation will become better. In our working committee meeting on Tuesday we reiterated this aspect,” Khanna said over the phone.
“We want peace and development in the region, and (will) ensure J&K is on that path,” he added. “The Modi government has implemented several schemes. Tourism is the main industry and source of income for the people and we will ensure it is strengthened further.”
Khanna also criticised the six regional and national parties that had on 22 August resolved to fight for the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and Article 35 A, as it existed before 5 August 2019. The parties had said that the move was “spitefully shortsighted” and “grossly unconstitutional”.
On the issue of providing security to BJP workers in the UT as some of them have recently been attacked by militants, Khanna said they are looking into the matter. “There is a process that has to be followed and people will be provided security,” he said.
Khanna said the state unit needs to be strengthened at the booth level in every region. “We have to strengthen our booth and need to ensure it has representation from all castes.”
The working committee meeting was chaired by state president Ravinder Raina and was attended by national general secretaries Anil Jain, Muralidhar Rao and Union Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh, apart from Khanna.
‘No resolution on statehood was passed’
Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina told ThePrint that no resolution on statehood was passed at the meeting as the party is already committed to it. “Why would we pass a resolution when our party and government is committed to it already? We merely reiterated our commitment in the meeting of the working committee on Tuesday,” he said over the phone.
The party has also decided to publicise the Modi government schemes in the state through its booth-level functionaries.
“Several central schemes are being implemented in the state but somehow the people are not aware of them,” said a senior BJP leader. “We have asked our party workers to publicise them and in case there are any roadblocks in the schemes being implemented, submit a report on it to the state unit.”
On 5 August last year, the Modi government revoked the special status that Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed under Article 370 and Article 35 A of the Constitution.
In March this year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured a party delegation that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir would be restored soon.
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