The Rashtra Manch, a political action group led by former Union minister and Trinamul Congress vice-president Yashwant Sinha, on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce in his Independence Day speech the restoration of full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir by the year-end.
In a statement, the Manch said: “All the rationalisations given by the Government to justify its drastic actions (of August 5, 2019), and all the promises of ushering in a ‘Naya Jammu and Kashmir’, have proved to be hollow.
Indeed, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself acknowledged the failure of his decisions when, in a meeting with Kashmiri leaders on June 24, he said he wants ‘to remove both dil ki doori (the distance between hearts) and Dilli ki doori (the distance with New Delhi)’.”
The Manch also wants Modi to announce on August 15 that free and fair elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir soon after the restoration of statehood, and the delimitation exercise will be deferred in the Union Territory to be taken up with the rest of the country.
This apart, the Manch urged the Supreme Court to expedite the hearing on the constitutional validity of the scrapping of Article 370 and give its verdict soon.