Union Minister Jitendra Singh held a day-long brain storming session with party workers across Northeast on Wednesday to clear the apprehension among the people on the special status accorded to the region under Article 371.
The scrapping of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 has led to concern in Northeast that the region will also lose the special status. Under Article 371, most of the states in Northeast enjoy constitutional safeguard to preserve their culture, land and resources.
The region, particularly Assam, has remained tense over the National Register of Citizens (NRC); close to two million people have been excluded from the final NRC list that was released on August 31.
Mr Singh said that the centre's move on Jammu and Kashmir was necessary to address the "large cause of taking on terrorism". He also said livelihood and income generation schemes implemented in the northeast will be replicated in Jammu and Kashmir as new avenues of development have cropped up in the region.
"It is serving the larger cause of taking on terrorism. It was the foundation head of terrorism due to mechanisation of Pakistan and because of Article 370 J&K was vulnerable. Now even Kashmir will adopt to the northeast model of development," he said.
"Article 371 itself says I'm temporary in the Constitution. There is no similarity between 370 and 371. When we talk about one nation, one constitution, we mean directly about J&K, since it had a separate constitution. In northeast things are different. Assam or other Northeastern states don't have a separate constitution," said Jitendra Singh, who held the workshop along with BJP lawmaker from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.
The union minister, however, refused to comment on the Naga peace talks that is in very advance stage and both separate flag, constitution is on the table.
"In case of Nagaland things are with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). I would not like to comment since its sensitive but a positive result is on way and MHA is handling it," he said.
The Congress, however, said that the special status provided to northeast under Article 371 may not remain protected for long. "Holding such seminar gives a wrong signal to people of northeast, but I have my doubts on them, may be not now but in days to come they will touch article 371 as well," former chief minister Tarun Gogoi told NDTV.
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