Arun Jaitley: BJP’s most articulate voice on Article 370, Kashmir issue falls silent

BJP stalwart and former finance minister Arun Jaitley was extremely active on social media following the Modi governments decision to scrap the special status of Jammu Kashmir before he was hospitalised in AIIMS on August 9. Despite undergoing treatment for skin cancer, he kept articulating the partys position on social media by breaking it down in simple terms and giving the historical perspecive in a chronological order while laying the blame on the Congress party and the countrys first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He was the first BJP leader to directly blame the three political families for taking political advantage of the special status of Jammu Kashmir. In an article written in March this year, he blamed two Srinagar based political families and one based in New Delhi, an indirect reference to Nehru-Gandhi family in Delhi and Abdullah and Mufti families in the state. The term was later frequently used by home minister Amit Shah in Parliament during the debate on the Kashmir issue. Former finance minister, who also held defence portfolio twice during PM Modis first term, blamed the policies of the countrys first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for creating the mess in the state. Today, when history is being re-written, it has given a verdict that Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Complete integration of Jammu Kashmir with the rest of the country was long-term agenda of his party. And Jaitley was well aware about his partys political objective and the difficult ground realities of Indian politics. Compulsions of a coalition government during Atal Bihari Vajpayees tenure and lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha during Prime Minister Modis first term gave the impression that the BJPs resolve to scrap the special status of Jammu Kashmir was only meant to be printed in the partys election manifestoes ahead of elections. However, the big day for his party came early this month when home minister Amit Shah moved two bills and two resolutions to end the special status of Jammu Kashmir and divide the state into two Union territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. A masterstroke by the BJP government to end the long simmering separatism and take direct control of the states administration. The second Modi win by an even greater majority allowed his party to implement one of its core agenda. And leaders like Arun Jaitley and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj were extremely happy to see it implemented during their lifetime as both of them were battling with health problems for quite sometime. So strong is the public mood in support of the new Kashmir policy of the Government that several opposition parties had succumbed to the public opinion, Jaitley always blamed the special status of JK for fueling separatism in the state. He also blamed Prime Minister Nehru for trusting National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah who used the opportunity to create his own political dynasty in the state that ruled the state for three generations. ALSO READ: As a union territory Jammu Kashmir will not be a burden on the Centre Panditji wrongly assessed the situation. He volunteered a plebiscite and allowed UN to discuss the issue. He took a decision trusting Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah to head the State. He then lost trust in Sheikh Sahab in 1953 and jailed him. The Sheikh had converted the State into a personal kingdom, It also needed political courage. The Prime Minister has created history through his absolute clarity and determination, Being the former finance minister of the country, who steered the countrys economy between 2014-19 and oversaw implementation of big-ticket reforms like GST, Jaitley was optimistic that scrapping the special status will lead to the economic development of the state. Jaitley was of the view that the special status of Jammu Kashmir did not permit outsiders to settle in Jammu Kashmir or own a property and eventually it deprived the state of investments and economic dynamism. India Consequently, there are no new jobs for the local people, no revenue for the State. This gave rise to frustration in all regions of the State, ALSO READ: Why PM Modi tried to woo government employees, JK police