National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has startled many with his comment on Jammu and Kashmir. While he clearly stressed that India’s sovereignty can never be compromised, he also remarked that having a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration”.
Doval’s remarks on Jammu and Kashmir come at a time the Supreme Court is hearing pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A of the Constitution, which provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking at the launch of a book on Vallabhbhai Patel, Doval also paid glowing tributes to the first home minister of India, saying he had made significant contributions in laying a strong foundation of the country.
Doval said sovereignty “cannot be a diluted and ill-defined”, and added that when the “British left, probably they did not want to leave India as a strong sovereign state.”
In this context, he said Vallabhbhai Patel could see through the plan of the British to sow seeds of disintegration in the country.
“His contribution is not about the merger of the states, it is only a means to an end. The thing was that to make a sovereign state in which there was the sovereignty of the people was established in the Constitution, which is applicable to the whole of it. Probably with Jammu and Kashmir, where the Constitution was…in a truncated form…another
constitution of J&K continued to exist, which is an aberration,”Mr Doval said at the event at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), a think-tank.
Ajit Doval is also one of the founders of the Vivekananda International Foundation.