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  India   All India  09 Sep 2019  Centre won’t touch Article 371 in N-E states: Amit Shah

Centre won’t touch Article 371 in N-E states: Amit Shah

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Sep 9, 2019, 1:42 am IST
Updated : Sep 9, 2019, 3:53 am IST

Article 371 grants “special provisions” to 11 states, including eight states of the North East.

Union home minister Amit Shah with Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)
 Union home minister Amit Shah with Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)

Guwahati: Union home minister Amit Shah here on Sunday said that Central government is not going to touch Article 371, which is the “special provision” for the Northeastern states in the Constitution.

Referring that some forces, which don’t want to see the peace and prosperity prevailing in the northeastern states, have been trying to create confusion by equating the Article 371 with the Article 370 of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Shah said, “Article 371 of the Indian Constitution is a special provision. The BJP government respects Article 371 and its clauses from A to J prevalent in eight Northeastern states and will not alter it in any way.” He regretted that after abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, there have been attempts to misinform and misguide the people in northeastern states that the Centre would also scrap Article 371.

 

Clarifying that Article 370 was a temporary in nature but Article 371 is a special provision for the northeastern states and there is a vast difference between the two, Mr Shah while addressing the 68th plenary session of the North East Council said, “I have clarified in Parliament that this is not going to happen and I am saying it again in the presence of eight chief ministers of northeastern states that the Centre will not touch Article 371.”

Ever since the Central government moved a Presidential order on August 5 scrapping Article 370, which gave Jammu and Kashmir its special powers, and divided the state into two Union Territories, a debate has started in northeastern states on Article 371.

 

Most of the states that have been accorded special provisions under Article 371 are in the northeast and the special status aims to preserve their tribal culture.

Article 371 grants “special provisions” to 11 states, including eight states of the North East.

Mr Shah’s assurance was more significant in the wake of opposition parties expressing apprehension that having rendered Article 370 irrelevant, the BJP government may move to abrogate Article 371.

Former Assam chief minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi had said that a threat is looming large over the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule areas of Northeast India.

Some organizations from Nagaland had also expressed apprehensions over special status after the Central government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

 

Article 371 A is a Constitutional provision pertaining to Nagaland, while Article 371 (B) contains special provisions for Assam. Manipur is covered under 371(C), Sikkim has 371 (F), Mizoram is under 371(G) and 371 (H) pertains to Arunachal Pradesh.

Tags: amit shah, article 371
Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)