New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh on Monday said his party backed the Centre on abrogation of Article 370 but emphasised that it never supported the idea of converting the state into a union territory. His response came hours after AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in support of the government's decision on Jammu and Kashmir.
"The government is claiming that the Right to Education Act and Constitutional Amendment 73rd and 74th could not be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir because of Article 370. The government also said development works were affected there. Today, the Home Minister said that the government will bring peace and give employment," Singh told ANI.
"Some people are peddling delusions that AAP supported UT (Union Territory) status. AAP and Arvind Kejriwal ji have not supported UT status. Article 370 does not mean that you strip full statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and create it into a union territory with a legislative assembly. AAP does not support any such initiative," he added. The AAP leader said that there was no need for UT status for Jammu and Kashmir.
"What was the problem the government had if Jammu and Kashmir was a state? You forcefully brought UT status and strip Jammu and Kashmir of statehood after Section 370. The Home Minister said that the statehood status will be granted again to Jammu and Kashmir when there would be normalcy," Singh said. "But I don't think there was some need of UT status for the state. Arvind Kejriwal supported the move on Article 370. He never supported UT status," he added.
AAP had been demanding that Delhi should be given full statehood since it came to power in 2015. Full statehood for Delhi was one of the poll promises of the AAP during the 2019 Lok Sabha election. "We support the govt on its decisions on J&K. We hope this will bring peace and development in the state," Kejriwal had tweeted.
On which, Congress leader Ajay Maken attacked the AAP chief saying, "Kejriwal ji - "AAP" was not like this; Or were they? And you were fooling the public! First - You were demanding full statehood for Delhi from Union Territory. And now, you are supporting Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territory from the full state?" he tweeted. The central government had revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019, which strips Jammu and Kashmir's status of a state and converts it into a Union Territory with legislature and carving out Ladakh region as a UT without legislature, was passed in a division pressed by the opposition with 125 votes in favour and 61 against, and an NCP member abstained.