Senior BJP leader LK Advani criticised Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, advising him against using offensive language against BJP leaders for demanding the abrogation of Article 370 in the Constitution that grants special status to his state.
“Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has every right to disagree with the BJP on matters relating to J&K. But I would advise him never to use offensive language and words like ‘cheating’ and ‘deceiving’ in that context,” Advani said in his blog.
Advani referred to Abdullah’s recent speech where he, without naming anyone, had said that “there are some opportunistic leaders who are parroting 370 as they feel elections are near and want to befool the people.”
Advani had, on June 23, made a renewed pitch for scrapping it.
Reacting to Advani’s blog, Abdullah tweeted: “Instead of advising me to show restraint Advaniji should devote some blog space to explain his silence over Art 370 between 1998-2004. Perhaps he can also blog about what constitutional mechanism he plans to follow to repeal Article 370. I might learn something from his wisdom.”
Even the Congress party — other than former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and a few other leaders — was strongly opposed to a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Advani quoted from a biography of Sardar Patel to argue that even the latter was against Article 370 but did not push for it due to his deference for Pandit Nehru, he said.
Advani said his party has “not only been unequivocal, forthright and consistent from the time Jana Sangh (BJP’s predecessor) was born in 1951 till today, but it is an issue for which the party’s founder-president (SP Mookerjee) laid down his own life.”
Mookerjee was arrested in 1952 when he tried to enter the state in protest against a permit system.