New Delhi: Dr Jitendra Singh, who has just taken charge as Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has said that the government has started a debate on the abrogation of Article 370, which gives special status and autonomy to Jammu & Kashmir.
While speaking to CNN-IBN, Jitendra Singh said, "Article 370 has done more harm. Youth of Kashmir has to be convinced about this. That's why honourable PM has called for a debate."
CNN-IBN: Is your government serious about removing Article 370?
Jitendra Singh: Article 370 has done more harm. Youth of Kashmir has to be convinced about this. That's why honourable PM has called for a debate. Having a debate doesn't mean we have deviated from what we promised. It just means convincing those who are not convinced.
CNN-IBN: So you have started speaking to the stake holders?
Jitendra Singh: Yes
CNN-IBN: Have you started speaking to them about abrogating article 370?
Jitendra Singh: Yes. For most of all the youth it's more of a psychological barrier. Youth of Kashmir valley is beginning to see merit in our argument.
CNN-IBN: Am I right in understanding that you have started the process of talking to stake holders to remove the Article 370? Have you spoken to Omar and Mehbooba Mufti?
Jitendra Singh: For us all stake holders are responsible. Even Nehru had said in the Parliament that Article 370 will be a transient provision. It's no longer required. Constitution says it's temporary.
CNN-IBN: Timeline for removing the article 370?
Jitendra Singh: We are working very democratically.