Union minister Jitendra Singh today accused the Congress and the National Conference of misleading the people of Jammu over Article 35A, and claimed that scrapping it would have no impact on job opportunities for local youth.
A debate over continuing the constitutional provision has picked up in recent months, after several pleas were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of Article 35A, which permits only the subjects of Jammu and Kashmir to buy property in the state.
On August 6, the court said a three-judge bench would decide whether the pleas should be referred to a five-judge Constitution bench for examining the larger issue of alleged violation of the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.
"The matter (Article 35A) is sub-judice... However, I have no hesitation in saying that Congress and NC do not want equal rights to the women. They opposed the Triple Talaq (bill) in parliament and are also opposing equal rights over property to the women in the state. They are misleading the people by saying that they will lose their business and jobs to outsiders if Article 35A of the constitution is scrapped. It is a misconception. Had it been so, every state would have demanded safeguards. Service rules govern the recruitment policy," the Union minister said in Jammu.
Accusing the Congress and the NC of having double standards, Mr Singh alleged that while in Jammu their leaders follow BJP in saying that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and praise Maharaja Hari Singh - the last Dogra king, but when in Kashmir they "toe the separatist line" and talk about so called honouring people's aspirations of having dialogue with Pakistan.
"This nation belongs to the youth and there is no place for double standards," he said. About the eviction of illegally-settled Rohingyas from Jammu, he said the BJP will not only ensure their deportation but would also investigate the motive behind their settlement here. "The issue of illegal settlement of Bangladeshi nationals in Assam was pending for the last 35 years... The BJP took the initiative and solved the problem. Likewise, the Rohingyas will be deported from here," Mr Singh said.