Paris [France], Aug 23: (ANI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a veiled reference to his government's decision to repeal Article 370 at an event of the Indian community here, stating that it took 70 years to remove the "temporary" provision giving special powers to Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the basis of strength in the relationship between India and France was not of the government's alone but also that of the community living here.
He said the diaspora was India's representatives, its voice and its identity in France and expressed confidence that it will always keep giving strength to India's voice.
Modi expressed surprise that it took 70 years to repeal Article 370.
"I am saying always because there is no provision in India for temporary now. You would have seen...a country of 125 crore people, the land of Gandhi and Buddha of Rama and Krishna, it took 70 years to remove 'temporary'. I do not know (one should) laugh or cry," Modi said.
The gathering raised slogans hailing Modi and waved Indian flags.
He said India was moving ahead with permanent arrangements.
"With (agenda of) reform, perform, transform and with permanent arrangements, the country has started moving forward and it will continue doing so and achieve its targets," he said.
It is the first time Modi referred to the decision to repeal Article 370 at a public event on foreign soil.
The Article 370 of Indian Constitution had "temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir" which it gave special powers.
The Parliament earlier this month passed a bill to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and a resolution to repeal Article 370.
India has countered Pakistan's efforts to internationalise its internal decisions. (ANI)