Jammu, 30 May-2014, IANS: BJP ideologue and Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had fully endorsed article 370 of the constitution which guarantees a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the state’s ruling National Conference said Thursday.
“How can they wish away this historical fact while generating passions over the issue?” Devender Rana, the party’s provincial president, said at a media conference here.
He was referring to debates in the Constituent Assembly where Mukherjee in his capacity as member never opposed article 370 and became a signatory to the constitution.
Article 370 was a bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India, Rana said, following the union government’s statement with regard to initiation of the process of scrapping this article.
“National Conference opposes any such move which jeopardises the legitimate guarantee enshrined in the constitution for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.
He said his party would appreciate a debate, which has already been stated by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah with any political party.
“We are not shying away from deliberating over this issue,” Rana said.
The National Conference leader had recently participated in a seminar in Jammu on the issue which was attended among others by BJP Lok Sabha member Meenakshi Lekhi.
Article 370 was part of the Constitution and came into force after detailed discussions by stalwarts like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Gopalaswamy Ayyengar, Mukherjee, Mirza Afzal Beg and Moti Ram Baigda.
Rana urged people “not to get carried away” by the “mischievous propaganda by proponents of abrogation of article 370 on the plea that it was coming in the way of development of Jammu and Kashmir”.
“This is an erroneous perception spread with malicious intent,” he said.
He also sought to remove the misconception on interlinking article 370 with State Subject Laws, saying the latter was conceived by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1927 to safeguard the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
On being informed that the union minister backtracked from the statement on Article 370, Rana said it was limited only to the extent of the mention of the prime minister.
“The union government should come out with its stand over the issue,” he said.