Abrogation of Article 370 is in the interest of the nation for its future, for security and safety. That’s the need of the hour. It is a good thing, said Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. “Now that the Bill has been passed, I am free to talk on the issue,” he said.

“We should all think in terms of national interest rather than party interest. Article 370 should not be treated as a political issue but treated as a national interest that Kashmir is an integral part of India and whatever problems are there, we should all stand by the future of Kashmir, and assure their feelings and see to it that steps are taken care of restoring normalcy and implementing welfare agenda at the earliest,” he said at the release of a book chronicling his two years of office as Vice President.

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Removal of special status to Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution will end terrorism in the valley and help in the progress of the region, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah. “I firmly believed that Article 370 was not beneficial to the country and should be removed,” he said.

Article 370 did not help India and Kashmir. It was to have been scrapped long back. With the scrapping of Article 370, terrorism will end in Kashmir and bring prosperity to the valley, said Shah, who released the book in the presence of Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam; Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Union Minister of Environment & Forests & Climate Change and Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar.

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Referring to the role of Naidu in Article 370, Shah said that Naidu had actively participated in his younger days on various agitations to scrap Article 370. And, it was nice to see Naidu as Chairman of Rajya Sabha when the Bill was passed.

Shah said that despite the BJP not having a simple majority in the Rajya Sabha, the Bill was first taken up in the Upper House before going to Lok Sabha in which the party has a simple majority. “I was a bit sceptical if Article 370 will face ugly scenes in Upper House as witnessed during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. However, it was due to efforts of Naidu, who heard all the members on the issue, and made sure that the Bill was passed smoothly,” said Shah.

Special invitees - MS Swaminathan, agriculture scientist; K Kasturirangan, Chancellor of Central University of Rajasthan; PC Reddy; Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group; S Gurumurthy, Editor of Tughlak; G Viswanathan, Founder & Chancellor of VIT; actor Rajinikanth and Pullela Gopichand, Chief National Coach for Indian Badminton team - had lavish praise on Naidu’s career as a politician and now as Vice President.


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