Advani blogs against Kashmir’s autonomy

New Delhi: Opposing autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of the pre-1953 status to the troubled state, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani has said the party won’t allow the constitutional clock to be turned back and vowed to get Article 370 completely abrogated.

“All that the country wants is to move forward to the complete abrogation of Article 370,” Advani said, referring to the constitutional provision that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir in India.

“The nation will not allow the constitutional clock to be turned back in respect to the state’s integration with India,” the veteran BJP leader blogged.

Before 1953, Jammu and Kashmir had a separate head called prime minister. The Supreme Court, the Election Commission of India, and the comptroller and auditor general had no jurisdiction over the state. Only three departments, defence, currency and foreign affairs were controlled by the Indian government.

Any Indian citizen wanting to visit the state had to acquire a special permit to enter Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the permit system was later abolished and gradually the clauses, which Advani called “separatist provisions”, were changed and the article diluted.

This, Advani wrote, “brought (Jammu and Kashmir) at par with other states in these matters”.

“When in the name of Kashmir’s autonomy, it is nowadays said that the dilution of Article 370 that took place post-1953 must be undone, it is all these wholesome provisions of the Indian constitution which are sought to be once again scrapped in their application to the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“The nation’s clarion call to the powers-that-be is that India will never forget Shyama Prasad Mookerji’s sacrifice,” he said remembering the Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder who entered Jammu and Kashmir in 1953 defying the permit system. Mookerji was taken to a prison where he fell ill after a hunger strike. He later died.

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