Ishtiyaq Ahmad


Srinagar, July 27 (KINS): With Political parties demanding restoration of the statehood to Jammu and Kashmir Union territory, the Bharitya Janta Party National Vice president Avinash Rai Khanna Monday said that Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir “will be granted statehood once the situation will improve”.
“As for statehood to the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, it will happen at the right time,” Avinsh Rai Khanna told news agency Kashmir Indpeth News Service (KINS) over phone from New Delhi.
“The government has promised statehood to the JK UT. I assure you that the government will fulfill its promise at the appropriate time,” he said.
He said that the rights of local people will be preserved in the region.
Khanna further said that people from across the Jammu and Kashmir region had welcomed the bold step to remove Article 370. “The whole region of J&K has remained most peaceful since the article was removed, reducing civilian casualties to almost nil,” he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured the Parliament on August 5 that statehood would be restored once the situation improves.
The centre on August 5 scrapped Articles 370 and 35A, (which granted special status and special privileges to J&K residents), and bifurcated J&K state into two UTs– Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh
Meanwhile sources claimed that BJP is learnt to have asked the local leadership to raise the pitch for return of full-state status.
Interestingly, senior BJP leader from J&K and former MLC Sofi Yusuf  has said that they would protest after August 5 for restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.
 “Some people want to divide Jammu and Kashmir but we won’t let that happen. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav has said that statehood should return to Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP leaders and workers will protest for return of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir after August 5. We hope the government will consider it,” Sofi Yusuf had told KINS.
National Conference patron and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Sunday called for restoration of its statehood and hoped the Supreme Court would render justice by striking down the repeal of Article 370 provisions.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has also demanded restoration of statehood followed by assembly elections to J&K during his meeting with Prime Minister Narinder Modi on Friday evening.
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Altaf Bukhari has also demanded that statehood of J&K should be restored on August 5, when it was split last year into two Union Territories.
However the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah, who was released from a prolonged detention some time back, has said that he will not contest assembly elections till the time J&K remains a Union Territory.(KINS)