National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Tuesday said having a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was an aberration and stressed that sovereignty can never be compromised, PTI reported.
Doval was speaking at an event organised by the Vivekananda International Foundation in Mumbai where a book on Vallabhbhai Patel was launched. Doval is one of the founders of the think-tank.
He praised the country’s first home minister, saying he laid the strong foundation on which the country was built. Sovereignty, Doval said, “cannot be diluted and ill-defined”. He credited Patel with seeing through the designs 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,” Doval said. “The thing was that to make a sovereign state in which there as 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 aberration.”
Doval’s comments come at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution. The article, incorporated into the Indian Constitution in 1954, grants special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. Last week, the court adjourned the hearings till January 2019 after the Centre and the state government cited potential law-and-order problems ahead of upcoming panchayat and local body elections.