Gandhinagar, Aug 8  :   Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel on Thursday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the Centre's move to scrap special status for Jammu and Kashmir accorded under Article 370 of the Constitution.

While Rupani said the introduction of Article 370 was fuelling separatism in Jammu and Kashmir, Patel said the provision was a "big mistake" which has now been corrected by Modi and Shah, both hailing from Gujarat.

The two BJP leaders were speaking at a grand event organised at Mahatma Mandir here to celebrate the completion of three years of their government.

"Though our country got independence in 1947, Kashmir remained some distance away from us all these years. This Article 370 was fuelling separatism in Kashmir, which is the crown of our country.

"But, finally, our PM Narendrabhai and Home Minister Amitbhai, both sons of Gujarat, showed immense courage and conviction and scrapped that provision," said Rupani.

"Both our leaders have been saying that Kashmir is an inseparable part of India and there can never be a compromise on that stand.

"And now, when both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha have given their consent to scrap Article 370, our country finally became one. I thank both of them on behalf of entire Gujarat," Rupani said in his speech.

On a similar note, Patel, in his speech, said the Gujarati duo of Modi and Shah corrected a "big mistake" by revoking the provisions of Article 370 that granted special status to the militancy-affected state.

Later, while talking to reporters, Patel slammed Pakistan for suspending bilateral trade with India to protest the Centre's actions on Jammu and Kashmir.

"Revoking Article 370 is India's internal matter. Yet, Pakistan is interfering in it. It shows their fear and desperation.

"By suspending bilateral trade, Pakistan is harming itself. Pakistan is taking decisions which would only bring disrepute to them," said the deputy chief minister.                        [Agencies]
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