New Delhi/Srinagar: With the controversy over Article 370 continuing to rage, the Union home ministry is preparing a presentation for its new boss, home minister Rajnath Singh, detailing the clauses of the article that grants a special status to J&K. A 100-page presentation is being readied by MHA officials to brief Mr Singh on key issues for the ministry, including Article 370, when he takes charge on Thursday morning.
Top MHA sources said a view will be firmed up on the need for a full-fledged discussion with all stakeholders after a proper consultation and briefing by the ministry’s Kashmir division. Mr Singh will study the contours of Article 370 of the Constitution, that grants J&K a special status, the sources said.
The MHA has in its possession the report by the J&K interlocutors appointed by the UPA government who recommended, among other things, that the word “temporary” in the heading of Article 370 be replaced by the word “special”, that is used for other states in provisions like Article 371 (Maharashtra and Gujarat); Article 371A (Nagaland); 371B (Assam) and so on. The MHA has, however, chosen to steer clear of any recommendations and previous debates on the issue in order to begin afresh.
On Wednesday, the issue is learnt to have been discussed when Mr Singh met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The RSS chief, it is learnt, also spoke on the phone with PM Narendra Modi on the issue. The RSS’ intervention has come as the first instance of the outfit directly speaking out on any policy matter after the Modi government has come to power. The RSS is learnt to have advised the BJP to first prepare a roadmap to take up this issue and involve all stakeholders.