New Delhi: The BJP on Monday dared the Congress to announce in Lok Sabha that it would restore Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir if it comes to power.

Intervening in the debate on budget for Jammu and Kashmir in the Lower House, Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said that the Modi government was allocating 63 per cent of the budget to the Union Territory to deal with the legacy of the Congress regime.

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“Does the Congress party have the courage to say that it will restore Article 370 after coming to power…You don’t say that. You want to beat about the bush and want to have it both ways,” he said.

The minister said that Article 370, which was abrogated by the Modi government, had prevented the implementation of welfare measures like the prohibition of child marriages, prevention of corruption, anti-dowry legislation, right to information and SC/ST reservation.

He wanted to know if the Congress had left ‘Ram Raj” in Kashmir that the opposition party was accusing the Modi government of “attempting to destroy”.

Singh asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a new political culture by honouring Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose and B R Ambedkar and “Congress is now searching for icons”.

The fact that Congress leaders are joining the BJP indicates that the ruling party was on the right path, he said, adding “we are doing what the Congress promised to do but did not do because of political reasons.” No political party can oppose the implementation of the welfare measures after the abrogation of Article 370, he said.

Referring to industrialization in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said that more than Rs 50,000 crore have been invested by large industrial houses in the Union Territory.

Admitting that unemployment continues to be a problem, he said that the government was focusing on providing livelihood to the people as it was impossible for any dispensation to provide government employment to everyone.

On the law and order situation, Singh said there was a drastic fall in the number of infiltrations attempts by terrorists in the last couple of years. Only four such attempts were reported in the current financial year as compared to 489 before the Modi government came into power in 2014.

He said that the Modi government has initiated the project of building a dam in the state to prevent the flow of river water that belongs to India under the Indus water treaty to Pakistan.


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