Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday urged Mulsim community not to be misguided by the propaganda by “vested interests” that they would lose their majority position in Jammu and Kashmir after revocation of its special status.
Singh also warned “vested interests” against linking the fallout of nullification of the Article 370 to the religion, saying the Narendra Modi government would not tolerate any mischief and will punish those speaking against the country”s interest.
Referring to the detention of various leaders of Kashmir after the nullification of Article 370, the minister of state in the Prime Minister”s Office also asserted that the leaders are not under “house arrest” but are “house guests”, “enjoying a hospitality” and facility better than what they had in their own homes.
He also sought to assure people that in any case the detained leaders would not suffer the same fate of 18-month detention that many prominent BJP leaders had undergone during the Emergency.
Singh made the remarks while addressing a BJP”s rally organised on the eve of the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh”s birth anniversary.
Maharaja”s grandson and senior BJP leader Ajatshatru Singh, however, was conspicuous by his absence at the function which was attended by, amongst others, Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur, BJP national vice president Shyam Jaju and state BJP president Ravinder Raina.
Without identifying anyone, Singh said a big propaganda has been launched by some “vested interests” to link the fallout of nullification of the Article 370 to religion.
“I want to appeal to the Muslim community that attempts are being made to misguide them,” he said, in an apparent reference to the apprehensions that Jammu and Kashmir will lose its Muslim-majority character if the people from other parts of the country are allowed to settle in the state after revocation of its special status.
“Whatever has been done is in the interest of the people of the state, irrespective of their religion, caste and creed. The Article 370 was the biggest hurdle in the overall development of the state and was misused by some families,” he said.
“After October 31 (when Jammu and Kashmir turns into two Union territories), the ordinary people of Kashmir will see the benefits of the abrogation of this article as the entire region will see large-scale developments within next six months,” said Singh
“The people of the state will soon see the real face of democracy where anyone can aspire to become chief minister or minister. The people will then thank (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (Union Home Minister Amit) Shah for this historic decision,” he said.
Singh also vehemently sought to cast aside the impression that Kashmir valley has been under the spell of curfew after revocation of state”s special status.
“There is no restrictions in Kashmir and even there was no curfew for a single day after the abrogation of the Article 370. Only minor restrictions under section 144 Cr PC were imposed in a dozen police station, out of 200, earlier so that nobody is able to create any trouble,” Singh said.