VP Dhankar says Art 370 was temporary, but lasted long

Jammu: Asserting that people are happy since the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution were abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said the article was temporary but still lasted for 70 long years.

He also said B R Ambedkar had refused to draft Article 370 while drafting the other articles of the Constitution.

“I had been advocating for it for 20 years. It was an aberration. Go to the text of the Constitution and see that this article was put as a temporary article. It lasted for the last 70 years,” Dhankhar said while addressing a convocation of the University of Jammu here.

He said Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution, declined to draft Article 370. “Now, we are happy that it is not there (in Jammu and Kashmir),” he said.

Remembering the words of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee — “ek mulk mein do nishan, do pradhan nahi chalenge” (a country cannot have two symbols and two leaders), Dhankhar said that is no longer the case now.

He said there is a harmonious atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir now since the provisions of Article 370 have been abrogated and added that it is the greatest tribute to Mukherjee, who laid down his life for a strong and united India.

“Tomorrow (on June 23) is his martyrdom day. He died as a detenue in the Srinagar jail on this day. He died within days after his arrest,” the vice president said.

Lauding the work done by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, he said massive development is taking place in the Union Territory after the abrogation of Article 370.

The erstwhile state’s integration with the Union has paved the way for investments and a boom in tourism, Dhankhar said while pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir has all the top institutions of the country now, including an Indian Institute of Management (IIM), an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and “even an AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences)”.

“Jammu will be an education hub,” he added.

Talking about India’s growth in the global market, Dhankhar said the country has 70 crore internet users, much more than in the United States or in China.

Asserting that democracy is flourishing in India, he said Indians feel proud about it.

He also credited the success of a G20 meeting in Srinagar to the LG.