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Nitish Kumar's JD(U) Makes Strong Pitch for Retaining Article 35A and 370

Despite an alliance with the BJP, the JD(U), since its earlier avatar as Samata Party, has held a distinct stance on three issues - Ayodhya dispute, Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code, chief spokesman K C Tyagi said.

PTI

Updated:March 4, 2019, 11:42 PM IST
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Nitish Kumar's JD(U) Makes Strong Pitch for Retaining Article 35A and 370
File photo of JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. (Image: PTI)
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Patna: The JD(U) on Monday strongly objected to fresh hankering in some quarters to abrogate Articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, warning that any "tinkering" with these provisions for Jammu & Kashmir would be "detrimental to the national unity and integrity."

The Janata Dal (United), which is headed by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and is a key NDA ally, also deplored the "aggressive posturing" on building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, asserting that "the Supreme Court, and only the Supreme Court, can now settle the matter."

A statement to this effect was made by the party's national general secretary and chief spokesman K C Tyagi, who said these issues "figured prominently" in deliberations at the JD(U) national executive meeting held on Monday in the presence of Nitish Kumar.

Despite an alliance with the BJP, the JD(U), since its earlier avatar as Samata Party, has held a distinct stance on three issues - Ayodhya dispute, Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code, Tyagi told reporters.

This has been underscored by Nitish Kumar many times, he said, adding this was reiterated again at the national executive meet.

"In the aftermath of the recent events in Jammu & Kashmir, we see a fresh demand for abrogating Articles 370 and 35A. We hold the view that these Constitutional provisions must stay. Tinkering with them could be detrimental to the national unity and integrity," said Tyagi.

His comments come amid a clamour for abolishing the special status enjoyed by the restive northern state in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent escalation of tensions with Pakistan.

"On the Ayodhya issue, we see a lot of aggressive posturing. This is not good. The JD(U) has always held that the vexed issue be solved either through a consensus among the affected parties or through a court order. Attempts to solve the tangle outside the court through talks were made during the reign of V P Singh, Chandrashekhar, P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. None of these efforts bore fruit," Tyagi said.

"We must, therefore, wait for and honour the judgement of the Supreme Court before which the title suit is pending. In the party's view, under the present circumstances the Supreme Court, and only the Supreme Court, can now settle this matter," he asserted.

In an oblique reference to the controversy over the Triple talaq bill, Tyagi said our national president has made clear the party's stand on the issue of Uniform Civil Code a number of times.

The JD(U) president had even written to the Law Commission elucidating the same, he said.

"Our MPs had also raised questions in the Rajya Sabha as to whether the communities affected by the legislation had been made a part of decision making process," he added. Tyagi was speaking in the presence of party's senior leaders, including national general secretaries Pavan Varma and Ram Chandra Prasad Singh.

He also expressed confidence that the three NDA constituents in Bihar, JD(U), BJP and Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP, which have already finalised a seat-sharing formula, would soon decide which seat would go to which party and the candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.

He also said his party's alliance with the BJP was "confined only to Bihar" and the JD(U) was looking forward to fielding candidates "outside the state".

A three-member committee comprising Tyagi, the party's national vice president Prashant Kishor and RCP Singh has been set up with the mandate to hold discussions with state units on this issue, said the JD(U) general secretary-cum- spokesperson.
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