Hindu scholar says revoking Article 370 impossible

A renowned Hindu scholar, Swami Agnivesh, Thursday said that Article 370 that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir within the Indian Union cannot be abrogated.

“The Narendra Modi government or any other Indian Government cannot revoke Article 370,” Agnivesh said, a day after minister of state in the Indian Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, revealed that Article 370 is on BJP agenda and the party will pitch for its abrogation.

Agnivesh added: the law is permanent and can’t be revoked.

He said that the Instrument of Accession was signed between two national governments and the accord cannot be broken. “If Article 370 is revoked, J&K’s accession with India will come to question and the state will secede to be part of India,” he said.

“No matter how powerful the Central Government is, it cannot not abrogate Article 370. The only way they can abrogate Article 370 is by dissolving the present J&K Assembly and create a new Constituent Assembly as it existed in 1951, which is not possible,” Agnivesh added.

“Those, who are talking about revocation of Article 370 are ignorant about history. They don’t know that it can only be removed by the J&K Constituent Assembly and it is not possible to reconvene that Constituent Assembly as only two of the 75-member Constituent Assembly are alive,” he said.

Contesting the claims made by the BJP minister about the abrogation of Article 370, Agnivesh said Narendra Modi during his visit to Jammu last year had said he favours discussion on the relevance of the law and did not say anything about its abrogation.

“The Parliament can repeal Article 370 only under the Article 368 but any amendment made under the said article will not apply to J&K without the consent of the state government and no state government can give such consent,” he said, adding that BJP is playing politics on the issue and their sole motive is to appease migrant voters.

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