National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Monday said that opposition parties and the people would oppose any move to abrogate Article 35 A of the Constitution.
He was speaking to reporters here after chairing a meeting of various parties including the leaders from the state unit of the Congress, the CPI(M) and several independents. “When it will come to that decision (abrogation of Article 35 A), you will see this mass (of people) rising. Do not forget when that Amarnath Yatra (land row) thing happened, people rose overnight. So, ...35 A will be far greater revolt and I wonder whether they (government) will be able to hold that,” Abdullah said.
The NC president, who is the member of parliament from Srinagar, said the opposition parties were united on the issue and would make people aware of the fallout if the Article is done away with. “The need was to sit together and discuss the issue of Article 35-A because it affects the whole state — Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. So, it is very important that the people understand as to why we are against the abrogation of Article 35-A, because the government wants to do away with our basic thing,” Abdullah said.
Article 35 A allows the J&K legislature to define permanent residents of the state. We have decided that we will take the issue to the people as a united front, he said. “All parties — whether in Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh — will try to make people understand that what effect it (abrogation of the Article) will have on the state,” he said.
Asked about the course of action by the opposition parties, the NC president said the issue is in the Supreme Court which has not given its decision yet, so the parties would take the issue to the people. The state subject law should not be eroded at any cost, Abdullah said. He alleged that it was a BJP and RSS conspiracy to erode the special status of the state. “As far as conspiracy is concerned, you all know that the agenda of BJP and RSS is basically to erode the autonomous structure of this state. And we, as a united front, are going to bring this to the people so that they know the fallout,” he said.
Abdullah claimed that the state government had not put up a strong representation before the Supreme Court after an NGO had filed a writ petition seeking the striking down of Article 35 A in 2014. “It is now being fought legally. The state government has represented in the Supreme Court. Only unfortunate thing is that they did not put the high class representation that should have been put before the SC,” he alleged.
He said that he had heard that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had said that if Article 35-A is removed, she will quit the chair. “I hope she stands by that statement of hers,” he said. The NC president said the chief minister should tour every region of the state and explain the fallout of the abrogation of the Article to the people.
Senior CPI(M) leader and Kulgam MLA said MY Tarigami said, “Please try to understand the dangers ahead and the serious implications it can have if Article 35-A is removed.”