New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI): Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday gave a fierce rebuttal to all critics of the Modi government’s move to remove Article 370 in J&K and stated that “real” development has taken place post the abrogation and also rejected any notion that there was “fake normalcy” in the erstwhile state.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha on the conclusion of the discussion on the demand for grants and budget for the Union Territory, Sitharaman said that 22 MPs had participated in the budget discussion in the house. She said that post removal of Article 370, which gave special powers to the erstwhile state, 890 central laws are now applicable to J&K.
“What was denied to the state for 70 years is now a reality,” she said. She said that earlier the state’s people would get members of the Valmiki community to do menial chores in the state, but denied them the rights that members of the community got in the rest of the country. This has now been rectified with removal of 370.
“All discriminatory laws were removed that existed under 370. This country cannot have two PMs, two symbols and two constitutions,” she said. “After removal of 370, 250 state laws have been repealed, 150 state laws have been modified,” she added.
She said that several financial reforms have been undertaken in the state post removal of 370, and more money has flowed in under the MNREGA, unemployment come down from earlier figures. She said that all employment in government, and banks was being done in a “fair and transparent manner” – without recourse to illegal employment and backdoor entry, which was “the norm earlier”.
Sitharaman said that children from poor and disadvantaged sections were getting into school and the hold of a few privileged families has been done away with.