‘J&K was better governed before nullification of Article 370’: Azad

Azad’s comments came hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is on a three-day visit to J&K, on Tuesday called Article 370 “discriminatory”
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. (File image)(PTI)
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. (File image)(PTI)
Updated on Oct 25, 2021 03:03 PM IST
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ByIsha Sahai Bhatnagar

Former chief minister and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was better governed before it was stripped of its semi-autonomous status and downgraded to a Union Territory following the nullification of the Constitution’s Article 370 in August 2019.

The comments came hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is on a three-day visit to J&K, on Tuesday called Article 370 “discriminatory” and said that a new era of development was ushered in with its nullification.

“We were told the scenario in J&K will change after the abrogation of Article 370. Growth, hospitals, unemployment will be taken care of. But that has not happened at all. As a matter of fact, we were far better when it was being ruled by various CMs (chief ministers before August 2019),” Azad told news agency ANI. “...We are a great loser after the state has been divided into two (Union Territories). We have been a great loser ever since the Assembly has been dissolved.”

Another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti criticised the Centre for opting for “cosmetic” steps which do not address the “actual problem”. In a tweet, she said Shah’s visit should have been preceded by following up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurances after his meeting with J&K leaders in June.

At that meeting, Modi and Shah stressed the importance of conducting elections in J&K. They reiterated their commitment to restoring the region’s statehood, and urged J&K leaders to participate in the ongoing delimitation exercise for redrawing poll constituencies.

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Monday, December 06, 2021