Chirag Paswan backs restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar: Member Parliament and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) national president, Chirag Paswan on Sunday said his party backed the restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir with a caveat about the “expectations of the Centre” after downgrading the former state into a union territory.

“Till now we have seen that there would be attempts to convert UTs into state assemblies but the way here assembly has been removed to make a UT we would like to see that it is restored as soon as possible and elections are held soon. This will be in our priorities but yes keeping in mind the situation and the expectations of the Centre after making it a UT,” Paswan told the media on the sidelines of an award function in Srinagar.

Paswan, who has been lying low after his party was decimated in the Bihar assembly election last year, also said that he felt a chasm between people of Kashmir and Delhi which needs to be filled.

“Along with the development, there is a need for hand holding. The people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly of the Valley, need to be reassured. I feel a sort of chasm between people of Kashmir and those of Delhi. That needs to be filled,” he said.

Paswan along with two other parliamentarians from LJP party Prince Raj and Veena Devi were here on a two day visit which concluded on Sunday. The LJP is a member of National Democratic Alliance(NDA) led by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Paswan was the chief guest at an awards function at Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre to honor the ‘real heroes’ of Kashmir on Sunday. The delegation met some public delegations on Saturday.

The LJP chief said that their intention was to meet the people and see how things have changed after the revocation of Article 370. He said that it was with a good intention that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah took the step of revoking Article 370.

“We have come here for two reasons, one to strengthen the party and also see how things have improved after revocation of Article 370 or where things need to improve further. While many people are satisfied, others are expecting the centre to change much more things,” he said.

He said that after returning to Delhi his party would inform the PM about the expectations of people in Kashmir.

“I will request the PM for works to develop infrastructure here as well as attempts to join the people here with mainstream. We need to think over these issues more seriously,” he said.

“After returning from here I would like to see more and more young parliamentarians who become a voice of Kashmiris, who raise genuine issues of Kashmiris not just show a rosy picture,” he said. (Agency)

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