Article 370 Controversy has taken a new turn as RSS has said that J&K is not Omar Abdullah's parental estate.
Article 370 Controversy has taken a new turn as RSS has said that J&K is not Omar Abdullah's parental estate.Twitter

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has pulled themselves into the political storm triggered by a controversial comment by Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the newly sworn-in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, about Article 370 that gives a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Just hours after Modi took charge as the Prime Minister, the MoS PMO, Singh came out with a controversial statement on the Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Singh said that the government had started communicating with stakeholders to repeal the Act.

"The process of repealing Article 370 has started. We are speaking to the stakeholders," he said.

But soon after the statement went viral, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, who has been opposing the idea of repealing Article 370, strongly reacted to the statement even threatening that either J&K will not be part of India or Article 370 will exist.

On Wednesday, however, the political furor hit the next level after RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav hit out at Abdullah for issuing the veiled threat that his state will cease to be part of the country if Article 370 is revoked.

This comes even as Singh on Tuesday issued a clarification saying that his statement on Article 370 was misquoted.

"I seek to clarify that the reports in the media about my statement on article 370 are misquoted. I have never said anything quoting the Honourable Prime Minister. The controversy is toally baseless," he said.

This clarification was however rejected on Wednesday by Abdullah who remained adamant in his demand for an explanation "from higher up."

"It does betray a mindset. We have a minister in the PMO stating government policy. That is extremely dangerous. Article 370 binds Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. I have not come across a way where you can do away with Article 370 without carrying people of Jammu and Kashmir with them, and clearly they don't," he told NDTV.

Jammu & Kashmir's PDP's Mehbooba Mufti also expressed strong opposition to any attempt to change Article 370.

"Singh should realise that his newly-acquired position as a junior minister comes with some responsibilities and the Prime Minister should intervene to discipline him. The PMO must clarify the statement to reassure the people of J&K that no mischief is on its way," Mufti said in a statement.

Article 370 of the constitution grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and governs the relationship between the Union of India and the northern state. The BJP had for years, sought to repeal the provision.

But in December last year, the party appeared to soften its stand on the issue. While campaigning in Jammu, Modi had said there should be at least a debate on whether or not the special provision has benefited the state. BJP president Rajnath Singh, who has newly been given the Home Ministry, had said that if Article 370 proved to benefit the state, the party would stand by the law.