Article 371 of the Indian Constitution grants special status to states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Goa.
India’s federal Home Minister Amit Shah has reiterated that the special status of the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram that share a border with China will not be revoked.
Speaking at the 34th statehood day of Arunachal Pradesh, Shah said: “When Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) took the decision to abrogate Article 370 to rescind the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, rumours were spread in the northeast that Article 371 would also be removed. But on statehood day of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, I want to assure you that nobody can remove Article 371 and nor it is anybody's intention".
Shah had earlier assured people in the northeastern states that the special status of their states will not be taken away.
Meanwhile, China has objected to Shah's visit to the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
In a statement, China has said: “The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Indian politician’s visit to the southern part of China’s Tibet region as it violates China’s territorial sovereignty, undermined stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated a relevant bilateral agreement".
However, India's external affairs ministry has dismissed China's statement on Arunachal Pradesh.
"Our position on Arunachal Pradesh is clear and consistent. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other states of India. Objecting to the visit of Indian leaders to a state of India does not stand to reason and understanding of Indian people", Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.
China and India have had 21 rounds of talks to resolve the border dispute covering the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).