Over Monday and Tuesday, as the Union government changed the administrative structure of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union home minister Amit Shah reiterated that the decision was solely aimed at pushing the restive state towards development.
Though the decision seemed precipitous, especially when viewed in the backdrop of sudden troop deployment, suspension of the Amarnath Yatra, imposition of a curfew, and a spate of political arrests, the move, a person familiar with the development said, had been in the works for a while.
Another person aware of the development said, “The issue has been on the agenda of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government for some time now. Perhaps people have been surprised by its timing.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), having tested waters during the first term at office in 2014-19, made Articles 370 and 35A major poll planks in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. Abolishing Article 370 has been on the BJP’s agenda for long.