Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has asserted that abrogation of Article 370 is a national issue and not a political one and called upon people to speak in one voice. He cautioned that a neighbouring country could misuse fragmented opinions at international fora.
Speaking at a ‘Meet and Greet’ organized by the Vice President’s friends and well-wishers on the completion of two years in office at Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh today, Vice President Naidu said that abrogation of Article 370 was long overdue as it concerned the unity and integrity of the country.
Asserting that Article 370 was only a temporary and transitory provision in the constitution, the Vice President said that its dilution would lead to the industrialization of Jammu and Kashmir, create employment and promote tourism.
Pointing out that the Bill on the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir was passed by 2/3rds majority in the Rajya Sabha and 4/5ths in the Lok Sabha, the Vice President recalled the debate which took place in 1964 on a private member’s bill when members cutting across the party lines called for its abrogation.
The Vice President quoted a news report published by a national daily in 1964 and said that the non official resolution moved by Prakash Vir Shastri in Lok Sabha was supported by several members of Congress including Bhagavat Jha Azad, Sarjoo Pandey (CPI), K Hamunathaiah, HV Kamath ( Socialist) and also members from Jammu & Kashmir state.
The Vice President also said that former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru had pointed to the transitory and temporary nature of the provision in the Constitution during a debate in Parliament in 1963.
Observing that India as the largest Parliamentary democracy, should also become an ideal and vibrant Parliamentary democracy, Shri Naidu stressed the need to bring in reforms in the legislature, executive and Judiciary for improving efficiency in the delivery of public services and to ensure that the fruits of development reach every section of the society.
At the same time, the Vice President called upon all the political parties to evolve a code of conduct for their public representatives at various levels including in Parliament and state Assemblies. He also wanted parties to improve the standards of public discourse and avoid cheap personal tirades and treat each other as rivals and not as enemies.
Vice President Naidu advocated the constitution of special judicial tribunals for quick and time-bound disposal of criminal cases against politicians, election petitions and political defections. He said cases in all these categories must be disposed within a reasonable time frame of six months to one year.
The Vice President also called for plugging the loopholes in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution that deals with defections. He stressed the need for the presiding officers to take action on defection cases in a stipulated time of three months.
Vice President Naidu also advocated setting up of Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court Benches in various parts of the country for speedy disposal of various cases.
Backing the call given by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end usage of single use plastic by October 2nd this year, the Vice President said that other programs such as Swachh Bharat, Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao and Per Drop – More Crop should be converted into mass national movements with the active participation of people.