Questioning Art 35-A will bring the relationship of state with the country under scrutiny, says Omar

Srinagar: National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that any attempts to tinker with Art 35-A will have serious ramifications and would inevitably reopen the debate on J&K’s accession with the Union of India.

Addressing the monthly Provincial Committee (Kashmir) Meeting at party Headquarters Nawa-e-Subh in Srinagar, the former Chief Minister reminded the powers that J&K acceded with the Union of India on certain conditions unlike the other princely states in 1947.

“If legality of the Article 35-A comes under scanner, then the relationship between the state and country will also come under scrutiny.”

He referred to various guarantees that the state enjoyed within the Constitution of India. While recalling the unique status of J&K, he said, “All our Constitutional authorities assume office after taking oath under our own State Constitution. Our State is the only state in the country where this is possible.”

The NC Vice President said the voices coming out to support and protect Art 35 A are region, religion neutral and any attempts to give it a communal colour have been defeated.

“BJP MLA from RS Pura recently spoke passionately in favour of Art 35-A and even lauded Kashmiris for their continuous support to 35-A. It should serve as an eye opener for those who are speaking against it. Even people in Ladakh are openly coming out in favor of Art 35 A,” Omar said adding, “It was our party which raised the issue of Art 35-A in the legislative Assembly in 2015. The then PDP BJP government had no idea about the threats to states special status and were not alarmed for reasons known to them. Upon our persistence, the government finally took the legal course on Art 35-A.”

While reiterating the party’s resolve to fight for states special status at all fora, Omar Abdullah said, “We will fight for Art 35-A both legally as well as on the streets. While we continue with our peaceful protests in favour of Art 35-A across the state, our party has also filed an intervention plea in the SC and has sought the services of best possible lawyers to protect Art 35 A in the SC.”

(With inputs from KNS)

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