Despite all pressures, govt won’t go back on 370 scrap, CAA: Modi

TNN Bureau. Updated: 2/17/2020 9:30:11 AM Front Page

‘Will remain firm on decisions taken in national interest’

JAMMU: Asserting that decision to scrap the Article 370 of the constitution which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir was taken in national interest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday ruled out any sort of rethink on the historic decision, notwithstanding pressure from all sides on the government.
The Prime Minister listed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) among the other decision on which he said his government will remain firm on the decision.
He also assured that the trust set up for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya would work ‘rapidly’.
Decisions like scrapping Article 370 and introducing CAA were taken in national interest, said Modi in Varanasi.
"Be it the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir or the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the country waited for decisions on these for years," he told a public meeting during a day-long visit to his Lok Sabha constituency.
"These decisions had been pending for decades. These decisions were necessary in the interest of the nation and we took them and we will remain firm on them," he said, ruling out any rethink on them.
"Duniya bhar ke saarey dabao ke bawjood, inn faislon par hum qayam hain aur qayam rahengey(Despite pressure from all sides, we remain firm on these decisions and will continue to remain firm)," Modi said.
Provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special powers to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated by the government on August 5, last year, with almost every top-rung mainstream political leader and hundreds of activists and separatists in Valley being detained since then, along with a number of restriction which continue to remain in place even to this day.
As many as 8 mainstream leaders have been booked under the stringent and controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), including three former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
While Article 370 has remained a focus centre in Modi’s speeches for long, his tough talk on CAA assumed significance in view of protests against the law in various parts of the country.
Citing certain key decisions of his government, Modi referred to the trust set up for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and asserted that it would work "rapidly".
"A trust has been formed for the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. This trust will work rapidly," he said.
He said that after setting up of the trust, the work on the construction of 'Ram dham' will start with fast speed and added that his government has also decided to transfer 67 acres of land to the trust.
The government had recently set up the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra on the Supreme Court's directive to the Union government to form a trust that can look into the construction and management of the temple.
The prime minister earlier launched or laid foundation of 50 projects worth Rs 1,254 crore in his Lok Sabha constituency.
He also flagged off IRCTC's 'Maha Kaal Express' through video link during his day-long visit to the city.
It will be the first overnight privately-run train in the country to connect three Jyotirling pilgrimage centres of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Ujjain and Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh.
The prime minister dedicated to the nation the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre and unveiled a 63-foot statue of the RSS ideologue -- the tallest statue of the leader in the country.
"The soul of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya give us encouragement. We are working for uplift of Dalits, deprived and others sections. And this is what Upadhyaya's 'Antyoday' says - to give all facilities to last beneficiary in the queue," Modi said.
He said, "Our behaviour as a citizen will decide direction of the country in future. Country is not made by governments only, but values of people residing here."
He said following the path shown by the saints, we have to fulfil the aspirations of our lives and continue to cooperate fully in nation building.
Modi appreciated people's contributions in creating awareness about cleanliness and taking the Swachhta Mission to each and every corner of the country.
Modi also inaugurated 'Kashi Ek, Roop Anek', an arts and handicrafts exhibition, at the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Hastkala Sankul there.
He evinced keen interest in the products on display as he went around several stalls and personally interacted with buyers and artisans coming from different countries, including the US, England and Australia.
'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' showcased products from over 10,000 artisans from all over Uttar Pradesh. There are 23 lakh artisans and weavers residing in Uttar Pradesh. Of them, about 35,800 artisans and 1.5 lakh weavers stay in Varanasi alone.
The Uttar Pradesh government had launched the ambitious scheme 'One District, One Product' (ODOP) in which one craft per district was identified.

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