BJP looks to backpaddle over Article 370, minister says 'avoid controversy'

May 30 2014, 22:04 IST
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SummaryAmid a row triggered by his ministerial colleague Jitendra Singh over Article 370, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh today said a controversy is "unnecessary" at a time when the new Narendra Modi government is yet to take over completely.

Amid a row triggered by his ministerial colleague Jitendra Singh over Article 370, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh today said a controversy is "unnecessary" at a time when the new Narendra Modi government is yet to take over completely.

"Nothing can vitiate the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an 'integral part' of India and it always will be," said Inderjit Singh, Minister of State for Defence.

"At a time when the new government is yet to completely take over the routine functioning in the office, any controversy around Article 370 seems unnecessary," he added in his Facebook post.

Singh, who also holds the portfolio of Planning, Statistics and Programme Implementation, made the comments against the backdrop of a controversy triggered by Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the PMO.

Jitendra Singh had said that the Modi government had initiated discussions with stakeholders for abrogation of Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The comment had evoked sharp reaction from parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Joining the discourse, another union minister Radha Mohan Singh has said yesterday that there should be an open debate on Article 370 and common civil code.

"There is no harm in having an open debate on issues like Article 370 and a common civil code. Why should we shy away from weighing their pros and cons?" said the Agriculture Minister in reply to a question at his first press conference after assuming office.

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