SHILLONG, Aug 9: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh categorically stated here today that Article 370, applicable in J&K, was detrimental and had absolutely no correlation, whatsoever, with Article 371 which is applicable in North East.
Addressing a gathering of media persons, journalists and prominent citizens on the occasion of the 75th year Platinum Jubilee celebration of English paper “Shillong Times”, Dr Jitendra Singh sought to allay the fears and apprehensions in a section of people in North East that following the abrogation of Article 370, the next to be abrogated would be Article 371. He called upon the media persons to check the misinformation circulated by certain vested interests and hoped that as responsible guardians of the press, they would help in setting the record straight.
Reiterating that it is absolutely irrational and illogical to draw a parallel between Article 370 and 371, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the very connotations and the basis of the two Articles are entirely different. While Article 371, he said, was incorporated primarily with a focus on development of North Eastern Region and preservation of the cultural heritage, Article 370 was incorporated as a ‘temporary’ provision and deprived the State of J&K of a large number of welfare laws and provisions of the Indian Constitution, which could otherwise be in the interest of the people.
Not only this, Dr Jitendra Singh said, a number of Central provisions and Central legislations which had benefited millions of people across the country, were not available to the people of J&K, which led to their living in a deprived State in spite being the citizens of India.
In the days and months to come, Dr Jitendra Singh said, more and more people across the country and J&K, including the Government employees in the State will realize what enormous benefits they had been deprived of for several decades, simply because of Article 370.
Earlier, along with Chief Minister Meghalaya Conrad Sangma, Dr Jitendra Singh participated in a plantation drive and also visited the Rama Krishna Mission campus here.