BJP manifesto silent on special status for KashmirNovember 14th, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS
Jammu, Nov 14 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday released its manifesto for Jammu and Kashmir elections beginning Monday, but the document made no mention of Article 370 of the Indian constitution that grants special status to the state.The 16-point manifesto focuses mostly on the alleged discrimination of Hindu-majority Jammu region at the hands of Jammu and Kashmir’s dominantly Muslim rulers.
But it made no mention of article 370 that entitles Jammu and Kashmir to have its own citizenship laws, forbids non-permanent residents from buying immovable assets, gaining jobs or admission in professional institutions.
The BJP, whose influence is confined to Jammu region, is contesting 64 seats.
The manifesto was released at a press conference by BJP state president Ashok Khajuria and his two predecessors Chaman Lal Gupta and Nirmal Singh.
Khajuria sought to justify this omission saying: “It’s immaterial whether there is a mention of article 370’s abolition or not. It is an agenda in our hearts.”
The BJP has for decades campaigned against article 370, saying only its abolition would firmly tie Jammu and Kashmir to the rest of India.
In the manifesto, the BJP promised to do away with regional imbalances in the state, appoint provincial councils and grant citizenship rights to refugees from Pakistan.
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