Manish Tewari raises Art 371 bogey on north east to corner Govt on Kashmir policy


Congress Member Manish Tewari on Tuesday wanted to know from the government what would be its stand when it comes to the Article 371 which pertains to various north eastern states.

Participating in the debate in Lok Sabha on Statutory Resolution on Article 370 vis-a-vis Jammu and Kashmir and other relevant draft laws, Mr Tewari wanted Home Minister Amit Shah to clarify the government stance on Article 371 (A) that pertains to insurgency-hit state of Nagaland.

“What message would you give to Nagaland and other states…..,” Mr Tewari said.

During the debate, Mr Tewari lauded the former Union Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru’s contribution in nation building and in keeping three disputed regions of J&K, Hyderabad and Junagadh under India’s control.

However, his views were countered by several BJP members. In fact, even Home Minister Shahsaid it was Sardar Vallabhai Patel who played a pivotal role in keeping Junagadh and Hyderabad under India’s control.

The Article 371(A) – almost in similar fashion to Article 370 – says that no act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland in respect of the religious or social practices of the Nagas, its customary law and procedures.

Mr Tewari maintained such special provisions existed for others states such as Assam and Sikkim too.

During the debate, BJP fielded Jammu MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, who lauded the government move and said the Article 370 by itself was anti thesis to development and unity and integrity of India.

In reference to remarks from Manish Tewari, BJP MP Mr Sharma said contrary to what Congress MP said Pt Nehru has harmed the interest of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Sharma said the BJP strongly believes that PoK is part of Jammu and Kashmir and “we are determined to take it back”.

Among other provisions, Article 371 gives the power to the President to establish separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada regions of Maharashtra and the rest of the State and Saurashtra, Kutch and rest of Gujarat. It also empowers the Centre to take some measures with respect to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa.

T R Baalu of DMK opposed the government saying the will of the people is not reflected in the initiatives taken by the Centre and the state assembly is not in functional stage as of now.