Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD)'s decision to support the NDA government's resolution to scrap Article 370 was guided by the opinion of party supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, a party MP said on Monday.
Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya said Jammu and Kashmir in real sense has now become an integral part of the country.
BJD, which which is neither a constituent of the NDA nor of the opposition UPA, has seven members in the upper house of Parliament.
"We welcome the government's decision. This is the opinion of my party, our party president Sri Naveen Patnaik and myself," Acharya told PTI from Delhi.
"In real sense, today Jammu and Kashmir has become an integral part of India. All of us wait to see when PoK will become a part of India. For us, the nation comes first. The freedom, integrity and sovereignty of Bharat Mata are paramount for BJD," he added.
Another Rajya Sabha MP from the party, Sasmit Patra, in a video message said that the issue of Kashmir was an emotional one for all Indians.
"I am confident that the J&K Reservation Bill and the resolution of Article 370 will be passed in Parliament. Kashmir is an emotional issue for all of us," he said.
Asking the Union government to bring back Kashmiri Pandits to the valley, Patra said: "Kashmir is part of India and will remain so in future also."
BJD Rajya Sabha MP Prashant Nanda too supported the move.
Union Minister Pratap Sarangi, a BJP MP from Odisha's Balasore seat, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the decision.
"This decision is a tribute to all soldiers who were martyred while guarding the State," Sarangi said in a twitter post.
Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Pradipta Kumar Naik of BJP said: "The decision of Union government meant for the betterment and welfare of all Indians including the people of Kashmir."
But senior Congress leader Suresh Routray said: "This is a drama being enacted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There was no such requirement to create instability in peaceful Jammu and Kashmir. We oppose the move."