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Jammu: Traders, industrialists welcome SC verdict on Article 370

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People at Lal Chowk after the Supreme Court upheld the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, in Srinagar

People at Lal Chowk after the Supreme Court upheld the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, in Srinagar

Jammu: Welcoming the Supreme Court’s verdict on Article 370, traders and industrialists in Jammu on Monday said they are looking forward to the restoration of statehood and democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir.

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During the day, the top court unanimously upheld the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370 and directed restoration of statehood in Jammu and Kashmir "at the earliest" and set a September 30, 2024 deadline for holding assembly elections there.

“We welcome the Supreme Court judgment to uphold abrogation of Article 370 as it was Jammu which always supported complete integration of the erstwhile state to the country.

“However, we were never in favour of downgrading J-K into a Union territory and the Supreme Court verdict calling for early restoration of statehood along with holding of assembly elections within a timeframe is highly appreciable,” president of Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries Arun Gupta told PTI.

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He said the apex court’s judgment was in line with the expectations of the people of Jammu.

“We are looking forward to the assembly elections to see a democratically elected government in place so that the issues being faced by the people, especially the traders, are addressed to their satisfaction. We are facing trouble in this bureaucratic rule,” Gupta said, demanding holding of assembly polls along with Lok Sabha elections due next year.

President of Chamber of Traders Federation Jammu, Neeraj Anand, described the verdict as “historic” and said, “We wholeheartedly welcome it. We always wanted to be fully integrated with our nation and it was a general sentiment of the people of the region.” He said this "historic" decision will be a turning point for the people of Jammu and Kashmir which lagged behind the rest of the country in the last 70 years.

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“We are looking forward for a hand-holding by the Centre for the bright future of our coming generations,” Anand said.

Vice president of Federation of Industries Jammu, Ajay Langer, said they are happy over the Supreme Court’s direction for holding of assembly elections by September next year and early restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.

“We would like to go through the judgment before making any comment. But the remarks of the SC on restoration of statehood and democracy are welcome. When there is an elected government, it becomes easy to highlight our issues,” he said.

Langer also said the old industrial unit holders are facing a lot of problems and their various demands with regard to GST and sops have fallen on deaf ears ever since Jammu and Kashmir was turned into a Union territory.

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