Time to say bye to Article 370, 35A: BJP

Time to say bye to Article 370, 35A: BJP

Officials in the home ministry had said yesterday that its law officers would be presenting legal aspects related to Article 35A only and would refrain from joining the case.

In Jammu region's Chenab Valley, the bandh call was issued by Anjuman Islamia Bhadarwah, Markazi Seerat Committee Doda, Anjuman Islamia Gandoh, Masjid Committee Thathri and Majlis-e-Shoura Kishtwar against the "dilution of J&K's special status".

Professor Hamida Nayeem said, "We know the logical agenda of BJP and RSS as they want to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir". Under Article 35A, state laws bar non-residents from purchasing land in the state. People of Jammu and Kashmir feel that their identity will be in danger.

The Presidential Order of 1954 provided a framework, which includes the addition of Art 35A to the Indian Constitution, for the division of powers between J&K and the Union Government under Article 370. He said growing clamor that constitution of occupied Kashmir be declared as null and void is also a matter of great concern.

He said the defense of the attorney general and the state in the Supreme Court on the issue was "weak" to pave the way for abrogation of the constitutional provision.

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The BJP, which is an alliance partner in the Mehbooba Mufti-led government in the state, has been calling for the scrapping of the special provision since the party's inception in 1980. "Constitution of India and Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir govern our living and existence but we have been vested with certain rights and we will protect those rights", he said.

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. The BJP has historically opposed it and asked for the abolition of Article 370 and special status for the state.

"The basis of our agenda of alliance is that status quo of 370 has to maintained none of us can go against that". "The Delhi-based media is projecting that by supporting Article 35A Kashmiris are being against rights of women etc".

Mehbooba flew to the national capital earlier in the day to meet PM Modi, amid the ongoing debate over the constitutional validity of Articles 370 and 35A, which detractors attribute to the "growing separatist psyche" in the Valley.

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