If people want, BJP will retain Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar, Nov 19: The BJP on Wednesday said that it won't press for the abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, if people of the state want it to stay.

Bharatiya Janata Party state vice president Ramesh Arora made the announcement here.

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Trying to play down the controversy over the article, Arora said the BJP wants a debate and discussion on the issue. "We will take people into confidence and asses its merits and demerits to the state and proceed accordingly," he said.

Arora said a debate over this provision was a "serious issue and we (BJP) won't take any vague decision. "We will take the aspirations of all regions of Jammu and Kashmir into account while dealing with this issue."

Arora, who is also in charge BJP's Kashmir affairs, said Kashmiris will feel more secure if the BJP is voted to power in the state.

"Kashmiris need to vote en masse for the BJP. This contention is wrong that the BJP is a communal party. Kashmir is a land of Sufi saints. Islam will grow better during our regime.

"The state as such has no religion but we (BJP) respect all religions and pledge religious freedom to all as guaranteed in the Indian constitution.

"Those who say the BJP would be a threat to Kashmiriyat ... are wrong.

"The actual threat is to those who say so. Our party will end administrative, police, bureaucratic and political injustice in the state," Arora said.


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