Dogra dynasty scion endorses J&K move, but not Congress: Minister (Lead)

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) After veteran Congress leader Karan Singh on Thursday said there were "several positives" in the government decision on Jammu and Kashmir and his son Vikramaditya Singh fully backed the integration of J&K into India, Union Minister Jitendra Singh took a swipe at the Congress saying Centre has received endorsement from none other than "the scion of Dogra ruling dynasty in the Congress".

"Govt receives endorsement from the scion of #Dogra ruling dynasty in #Congress," Singh tweeted after earlier in the day, "the man who knows too much" -- Karan Singh -- not long back had advised "to tread cautiously on Article 35A, 370" welcomed the Centre's decision to reorganize the region and create Ladakh as a Union Territory and said the reorganization of the region had positives too.

"With my lifelong involvement with Jammu and Kashmir, a state founded by my ancestors and for which my father Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947, my sole concern is to further the welfare of all sections and regions of the state," Singh said in a statement.

On the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Terriroties, Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one, Singh said the "unusually fast" decision in Parliament "caught all of us completely by surprise, they will obviously have far reaching implications at many levels".

He said the "drastic" measure appeared to enjoy the overwhelming support of Parliament as well as around the country, including in Jammu and Ladakh, and that he had been pondering deeply over the situation. "Personally I do not agree with a blanket condemnation of these developments. There are several positive points," Singh said.

"Ladakh's emergence as a Union Territory is to be welcomed."

In fact, "I had suggested this as far back as 1965 when I was still Sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir when I had publicly proposed reorganization of the state", he said.

He said the gender discrimination in Article 35A needed to be addressed as also the long-awaited enfranchisement of lakhs of west Pakistan refugees and reservation for Scheduled Tribes which he added would be welcomed. He said fresh delimitation in the region would ensure a "fair division of political power" between the Jammu and Kashmir regions.

He said as broad spectrum of people in Kashmir may be feeling "mortified", "I feel that it is important for the political dialogue".

His son, Vikramaditya Singh, a former Member of the Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir, termed the government step to revoke Article 370 and divide the state into two union territories as "a step I fully support".

He said with this step, women and the minority communities of the state would enjoy equal status under the Indian Constitution, and added that he looked forward to a new J&K with greater business and industrial development and employment opportunities.

Vikramaditya Singh released a statement that said: "This is the beginning of a new era for all of us in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The full integration of J&K into the Union of India and its reorganisation, is indeed a step that I fully support.

"Now, women and minority communities in J&K will enjoy equal rights under the Constitution of India. Us citizens of Jammu and Kashmir must now co-exist as equal partners and use this change as an opportunity to create a better future for the coming generations. I look forward toward a new J&K with a progressive and peaceful environment, with greater business and industrial development, private sector investment and greater employment opportunities for our youth. I would eventually hope to see a full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir.

"I also endorse the views expressed by my father Dr Karan Singh in his statement made earlier today," he said.

The Congress stands divided over the abrogation of Article 370 with few senior leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, supporting the Central government's move.However, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) has passed a resolution denouncing the scrapping of Article 370.

--IANS

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