Situation in Kashmir is normal: Javadekar

‘People of J&K are happy with dilution of Article 370 as they will now get benefits denied earlier’

Updated - October 06, 2019 11:09 pm IST

Published - October 06, 2019 11:08 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar. File

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar. File

The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “normal” and the people are “happy” with the dilution of Article 370 as they will now get benefits and entitlements on a par with those in the rest of the country, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has said.

In an interaction with PTI journalists, he said there were no restrictions on the media and all newspapers were being published in the Kashmir Valley. He rejected the Opposition’s charge that the BJP was using the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status as a plank in the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly elections. “[The dilution of] Article 370 has caught the imagination of people. The people are welcoming it all over the country. So what can you do? All sections [have welcomed it],” he said.

The situation in the State was “good” and “normal” and the people in the Valley “are supporting the decision... They are welcoming the decision because it will benefit them,” he said.

Mr. Javadekar said the people in the State would now get the benefits of all government schemes not available to them earlier. Under the special status, the State had the right to take decisions, on its own, in several important areas, except for defence, communications and foreign affairs.

“Under the Right to Education, 25% of the students from the economically weaker sections get admission. It was not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir; but now, it will be applicable,” he said. Likewise, the people did not get the benefits of various schemes for the Other Backward Classes, but they would be available to them now. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes had no political reservation; from now on, they would enjoy it,” he said.

“The Home Minister gave a list of 126 laws that did not apply to Kashmir, but are now applicable. People are getting the benefits; therefore, they are happy. All the Union government’s schemes are now operational in the Valley,” he said.

He said Pakistan fuelled separatism in the last 50-60 years because of Article 370.

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