Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut of the Uddhav faction of Shiv Sena on Sunday said that the abrogation of Article 370, which ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, by the Narendra Modi government was only on paper, done to serve the political interests of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In his weekly column 'Rokthok' in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', Raut said Kashmiri Pandits had not got their rights despite this move, and BJP leaders have no answers to their woes. A Kashmiri Pandit was killed by terrorists in Pulwama recently. Raut added that BJP poured water on the grief of the community by arresting Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia in the alleged excise scam, thereby diverting attention from the killing.
"Jammu and Kashmir was and will remain an integral part of India. The abrogation of Article 370 is only on paper and was done to serve the political interests of the BJP," he said. In his column, Raut said he met Kashmiri Pandits during his recent visit to the northern Union Territory as part of the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra, and community members told him about being forcibly relocated to the Valley, though the government was not ready to guarantee their safety.
He also said the 'Hindu Akrosh Morcha' organized in Mumbai recently against 'love jihad' and other issues alleged by right-wing outfits must be held in J-K to protest the killing of Kashmiri Pandits. He expressed concern at the re-emergence of pro-Khalistan elements in Punjab, adding it was an issue related to internal security that cannot be left in the hands of the state government there.
Meanwhile, two days ago, BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah was quoted claiming that democracy has reached the grassroots level in Jammu & Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370.
(With PTI inputs)