RS Prasad asks Cong if it wants restoration of Article 370, supports statements by Farooq, Mehbooba

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday hit out at Congress and asked if the party wants the restoration of Article 370 and supports the remarks made by National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti.

Addressing a press conference, he said that the government applied various Central laws including the Prevention of Corruption Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has declared the restoration of Article 370 as its agenda. It is contesting local body polls. There are 10 parties including National Conference and PDP and now Congress is also joining. Farooq Abdullah has no compunction in seeking the support of China for the restoration of Article 370… Mehbooba Mufti said she won’t hoist tricolour unless J&K flag is restored,” Prasad said.

“We applied Central laws to Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh… They do not want certain laws including the Prevention of Corruption Act in Jammu and Kashmir so that they can continue with corruption. People who have been Chief Ministers are saying that they will take the help of China for the restoration of Article 370. It is an anti-national activity,” he said.

Speaking further, he said: “Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji tell the national clearly and categorically does the Congress party want the restoration of Article 370 in the original form… Does Congress support the statements of Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti? Congress should tell if they are with the stated objective of the Gupkar Declaration.”

The Union Minister said that earlier if a Muslim or Hindu girl from J&K married a boy from Delhi or any other place, then she would have no right in the property of her father. “We have changed it and restored their right to property,” he said.

“The refugees from Pakistan who came to J&K and stayed there after partition had no right to vote and right to property, whereas those who moved beyond Punjab went on to become the PM and Deputy PM of India. This was the cruel reality of J-K before the abrogation of Article 370,” he said.

The District Development Council (DDC) elections will be conducted in Jammu and Kashmir in eight phases between November 28 and December 19, and the counting of votes will take place on December 22.

The mainstream parties, including the National Conference, PDP, Peoples Conference and CPI(M), formed the PAGD last month and are fighting the maiden DDC elections together.

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