‘Abrogation of Article 370 was a step in the right direction’: Venkaiah Naidu
“In the Constitution, it (Article 370) is mentioned as a transitory, temporary provision. Now, I go around the country and I get feedback that the entire country is rejoicing about the abrogation,” Venkaiah Naidu said.Updated: Aug 15, 2019 01:20 IST
Saying that petty politics on issues of national importance should be avoided, vice-president of India M Venkaiah Naidu has said the abrogation of Article 370 was done for the unity and integrity of the country.
“The abrogation of Article 370 was a step in the right direction...let us not see politics in that and let us not add religious overtones to it,” said Naidu, who was in Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, to deliver the first Balramji Dass Tandon Memorial Lecture on Wednesday. Naidu, also the chancellor of PU, spoke on the issue after finishing his lecture. Tandon, the former governor of Chhatisgarh, had passed away last year and his son Sanjay Tandon is Chandigarh BJP chief.
Naidu added, “We should avoid partisanship and petty politics on issues of national importance. This is the need of the hour.” He quoted statements of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru from 1963 on Kashmir, saying that Nehru also spoke in favour of the abrogation of Article 370. He added that in Parliament of 1963, MPs had sought the same so that integration was final.
‘Country is rejoicing’
“In the Constitution, it (Article 370) is mentioned as a transitory, temporary provision. Now, I go around the country and I get feedback that the entire country is rejoicing about the abrogation,” he said, adding, “This is an issue concerning the safety, security unity and integrity of the country. Why should we focus our attention on such things and always have tension? Attention for development is what is required.”
“All religions are equal. We may have different languages. India is one! One nation, one people, one country! That should be our approach,” he said, sharing his views on ‘Unity in Diversity’, adding that local bodies strengthened democracy. “Amendments 73 and 74 (on self-governance) to the Constitution were brought by Rajiv Gandhi. He gave some more powers to the local bodies that should be honoured by all states. Then only democracy will be strengthened. You cannot have discrimination.”
On international coverage of Kashmir
On the international media coverage of Kashmir, he said, “Some of this coverage is based on their false propaganda. Irrespective of parties, we should not give any scope for such people to carry on anti-India propaganda.”
Without naming any organisation, Naidu referred to the BBC’s coverage of the issue as looking at the issue through its own prism. “India was their colony. Now, some people are not ready to digest the way India is moving forward. The World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and Moody ratings...everybody is saying if India moves in this direction faster, it will become the third largest economy in the world.”
On Pakistan, he said, “We should not give scope to our neighbour who is always hating, funding and training terror. It is a fact, a well-known fact. Nobody has any illusions about it. They think they want to create trouble; we should not give any scope for that at all. We should exhibit integrity and our commitment for the nation.”
First Published: Aug 14, 2019 22:33 IST