Government To Put Article 370 On Backburner

1 June 2014
The Asian Age
Rajnish Sharma

New Delhi: After the initial posturing on Article 370, the BJP-led NDA government has decided to put the contentious issue on the backburner for the time being. Top government sources claimed there was no possibility of any major decision or even a concrete movement forward on Article 370 in the near future. The issue had been raked up last week by the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office, Dr Jitendra Singh, claiming that the government had started discussion with all stakeholders to explore possibilities of repealing Article 370. But the government, it seems, is not expected to take any hasty decision on such a contentious issue. 'Even though the BJP's views on Article 370 are fairly well known, the government has decided to go slow on the matter fully realising its political implications, particularly in a year when Assembly elections are due in Jammu and Kashmir,' a senior government functionary said. However, the Union home ministry's Kashmir division, which looks after different aspects related to the Valley, may informally seek views during its deliberations with different groups in the state. 'During our discussions with different groups, ranging from political to social activists and even NGOs in the state's three regions - Jammu, Leh and the Valley - we will at least try and find out what their view on Article 370 are. But this does not mean that the government is going ahead with any major policy decision on it,' a senior home ministry official said.