Newspaper: Mehbooba opposes repeal of Kashmir's special status

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, CM Mehbooba Mufti also met the BJP's national general secretary Ram Madhav as "part of consensus building against any erosion of special status", as per the agenda of the alliance. She said that any tinkering with Article 35 (A) will renew street protests and agitation in J&K.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the debate on Article 35A of the Constitution that grants special status to the state and is being challenged in the Supreme Court.

Ironically, while the PDP is a strong votary of continuing with the special status, its ruling partner the BJP contested elections on the plank that it would revoke the constitutional position for Jammu and Kashmir's complete integration with the rest of India. How many evidences are required more in order to understand that the opposition parties are against a harsh, BJP political party.

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Addressing media here, NC provincial president and Nagrota MLA Devender Singh Rana, a close confidant of party leader Omar Abdullah, equated the article with the holy cow that can not be touched. But before that, the Centre and state government should clear their stand on the issue, he added.

Er. Rasheed ridiculed Mehbooba's claim that "J&K is India's crown and said that J&K is by no means India's integral part but a disputed territory". He said growing clamor that constitution of occupied Kashmir be declared as null and void is also a matter of great concern. "It is a sensitive and debatable issue and it will be kept in public domain so as to take on board people of all three regions of the state including civil societies, " said state Congress vice-president Sham Lal Sharma.

Mehbooba Mufti, during her meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Modi, is learnt to have stressed the need to strongly defend Article 35 (A), now challenged by an NGO in the Supreme Court under a writ petition, so that the situation in Kashmir is not disturbed. "If the GoI will scrap the Article 35-A then whole Article 370 will collapse its own". A permanent resident was defined as - A person who was born or settled in J&K before 1911 or has been resident in the state for 10 years after lawfully acquiring property in State. She further said that the basis of her PDP's alliance with the BJP is that the "status quo of 370 has to be maintained". Any decision by the Supreme Court will have far-reaching consequences. She added that Mr Modi "gave 100 per cent assurance on the agenda of alliance".

Other reports by GizPress

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