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Nitish nixes Modi call on Art. 370

Patna, Dec. 2: Narendra Modi’s suggestion for a debate on Article 370, which provides for special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has kicked up a political storm and drawn a sharp retort from chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Modi yesterday sought a debate to ascertain if Article 370 has been beneficial to the state or not. As his comment came under attack from mainstream parties, Modi said on Twitter today: “We need rational & focused debate not only on 370 but other issues relating to J&K, including suffering of sections of J&K society.

“Glad that after my call for a debate on Article 370, it is being widely debated among people & across TV, social media.” In Patna, Nitish rejected the call. On the sidelines of his janata durbar, he said: “There is absolutely no need for a debate on Article 370, as there are several important issues — poverty, social and economic deprivation and lack of development — bedevilling the nation that calls for a debate.”

He added: “We are very clear that emotive issues should not be given preference over realistic issues gripping the country.”

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