Modi’s drastic actions in IIOJK proved to be hollow, Sinha’s Rashtra Manch


New Delhi, August 11 (KMS): Rashtra Manch, a political action group established by former Indian minister Yashwant Sinha, on Wednesday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech should announce that full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be restored by year end.

In a statement, the forum said it is seriously concerned over the situation following the “questionable actions” of the Indian government on August 5, 2019 when it annulled provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which provided a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“These actions, and the utterly undemocratic manner in which they were taken, have caused a deep sense of hurt, humiliation and betrayal in the minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” said the Rashtra Manch, whose convenors are Shahid Siddiqui and Sudheendra Kulkarni.

The Modi government took these decisions without any consultation with the people, it said. Lakhs of youth have lost employment and there has been a worrisome increase in suicides among young people, it claimed.

The Rashtra Manch also alleged that all the rationalisations given by the government to justify its drastic actions and all the promises of ushering in a Naya Jammu and Kashmir’ have proved to be “hollow”.

The forum demanded that the prime minister should announce in his speech on Independence Day that full statehood would be restored to Jammu and Kashmir before the end of 2021.

It also demanded that the prime minister should announce in his speech that free and fair elections would be held soon after the restoration of full statehood and the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir would be deferred, and held along with other states in India.

The Rashtra Manch also urged the prime minister to state in his speech that no steps shall be taken to alter the demographic profile of Jammu and Kashmir.

Noting that the constitutional validity of the repeal of Article 370 is currently before the Supreme Court, it urged the apex court to expedite hearing on it and give its verdict soon.