Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Pratap Chandra Sarangi on November 5th, 2019 asserted that the Centre will not touch Article 371 which grants special provisions to the Northeast.
“Article 371, permanent in nature, is to protect the unique cultural demography of the Northeastern states. Why should it be removed? Please don’t fall prey to rumourmongers,” he while speaking at the 8th Rutum Kamgo Memorial Lecture.
On the other hand, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu hailed the decision of the central government to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir while speaking at the Memorial Lecture.
Speaking on the topic ‘Abrogation of Article 370 and 35A: A step towards national integration’, Khandu said that history has proved that the journey of the separate status provided under the said Article has been towards separatism and not integration.
“Article 370 was inserted in the Constitution of India as a temporary provision due to the political circumstances of the time and has resulted in the deprivation of fruits of development to the common people. It created a feeling of separatism which has been actively fomented and leveraged by our neighbouring countries to disturb peace and tranquillity in the nation,” he pointed.
“It’s been 70 years since India attained Independence. But for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladhak real Independence came this year after the abrogation of Article 370,” he said.
Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the historic decision, Khandu expressed misappropriation of thousands of crore rupees pumped by the Government for the development of the state will now end and real development will begin.
“Now with this historic decision, I am sure that the people of the beautiful region will be able to experience the promise of new India, with the creation of more jobs, access to quality education and health care and a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
In the same breath, Khandu asserted that the special provisions dealing with the welfare of North-Eastern regions and tribal areas contained in Articles 371 (a) to (j) are special provisions and not temporary, which will remain as it is. “These were special provisions are permanent in nature and are aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of the states,” he added.
He further said that as Modi and Shah have a soft corner for the Northeast, they will not take any decision without first consulting with the states of the region.
Union Minister Sarangi, lambasted those who opposed abrogation of the Article 370 blaming them of giving it a communal colour. Delivering the key-note address of the Lecture, Sarangi said, “No one knows why the Article was inserted in the Constitution at the first place. But as it was a temporary provision, it had to go one day. Crying foul now has no meaning.”
He too hailed Modi and Shah for the courageous decision, while stating that the temporary provision should have been abrogated long before.
Marvelling at the state’s unique culture and natural bounty, the MoS assured that his ministry will provide support and funds as much as possible for the implementation of central government schemes feasible in Arunachal Pradesh.
He informed that he and officials of his ministry had a fruitful review meeting with state government officials and will jointly work out a proper roadmap for implementation of all government programs related to his ministries.
On the occasion, organized every year by the Arunachal Pradesh Charitable Task, Tuluk Rida and Nyantom Tikkom were awarded the Neelam Nido Award for preservation and promotion indigenous faith and culture.
Earlier in the day, the Union MoS met the Governor and the Chief Minister separately to discuss programs and their implementation in the state.
Photo credit: @PemaKhanduBJP