Time to Look Beyond Article 370; Says JD-U Leader

JD-U leader RCP Singh holding a press conference in Patna on Wednesday.

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Patna: Seemingly softening their stand on the repeal of Article 370 and Article 35A in Jammu & Kashmir, Janata Dal – U national general secretary R C P Singh, at a press conference in Patna on Wednesday, said that it was time 'accept the reality' and look forward to the future of the northern state.

"JD-U had been opposed to repealing the Article 370 from the very beginning. We have steadfastly raised our voice against it in the Parliament. However, now the same Parliament has approved the end of Article 370 and 35A in Jammu & Kashmir. This is now the law of the land so it is time we accept it as the will of the people of India and move forward towards a better future for Kashmir," the JD-U leader said.

While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is yet to make a formal comment on the Modi administration's decision to scrap Article 370 unilaterally, Singh's message of 'moving forward' appears to be with the nod of his boss who has to keep an eye on next year's state polls where he hopes to cling on to power with the help of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allies.

"The beauty of any democracy is the ability to speak freely without worrying about any political retribution. When it was time for us to speak for or against any idea, we did. However, once a law is passed, we all are expected to follow and respect it. At the time when JD-U had joined the NDA, George Fernandes had made it very clear to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that though part of the coalition, our party will continue to have its own opinion on Article 370, Article 35A, and Ram Mandir but now that Jammu & Kashmir has been split into two Union Territories and the two articles have been repealed, I believe it is time to move forward and not backward," he said.

Singh further said that the JD-U's agenda was solely based on the development of Bihar and the nation and it was up to every party to work towards this goal.

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