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Abolition of Article 370 heart of BJP's Kashmir policy: Farooq

india Updated: Mar 30, 2014 00:37 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times
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National Conference (NC) patron Farooq Abdullah on Saturday targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying abrogation of Artcile 370 is the basic of the party's Kashmir policy.

Contesting BJP's claims that Narendra Modi would forward former prime minister AB Vajpayee's policy of "insaniyat" (humanity), Farooq said even he "rejected NC's autonomy resolution".

"BJP and Narendra Modi want to do away with Article 370 and have nothing to do with humanity and Kashmiriyat," said Farooq on the sidelines of a workers' meeting in Srinagar.

"(They) talking about humanity is a farce," he added.

Article 370 guarantees special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Modi, in his rally at Hiranagar in Jammu, had said that he would follow the path shown by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee-one of "humanity, democracy and Kashmiriyat".

Earlier speaking to party workers, Farooq accused opposition PDP of "double talk".

"On the one side, they talk of representing Kashmiris and Kashmiri aspirations, and on the other side are open to an alliance with someone like Modi, who is a threat to Article 370," he added.

"I appeal to Mufti sahib (Mufti Sayeed) not to sell us," he added.

"Be it Vajpayee or Modi or anybody from the BJP, they can never care for Kashmiris. For them, the state is only important due to Jammu and Ladakh," Farooq said.

Farooq said that being Muslims doesn't make Kashmiris "anti-national".

"Yes we are Muslims, and we are proud of it. But I want to ask, is being a Muslim an offence? We have never betrayed our nation or our religion," he added.

He also alleged that for the BJP, Kashmir is "all about the land".

"The day you start loving our people, things will change for good. Try to love us," he asked.

Autonomy our right

"Autonomy is our right. People in New Delhi have made autonomy hollow," he said.Referring to former prime minister Vajpayee, Farooq said even he turned down the autonomy proposal.

"Vajpayee invited me after we had passed autonomy resolution and sent it to Delhi. I had sent five copies of autonomy resolution to the then home minister LK Advani," said Farooq.

"Vajpayee, categorically, told me they were not ready to accept the autonomy resolution. I asked him have to read it at least. He said no," the NC patron said.

"All BJP wants is to bury Article 370. They wanted to do it then and they want to do it now," he said.

Farooq, however, vowed to carry forward the party's fight for greater autonomy for the state.

Modi, who offered prayers at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine ahead of his address in Jammu, made no reference to Article 370. He, however, had referred to the issue in his earlier rally in December last year, calling it "discriminatory towards women". Modi had stirred up quite a controversy in the rally by demanding a dialogue on Article 370.

State chief minister Omar Abdullah had challenged Modi to a discussion on the constitutional provision, an offer that has been opposed by the BJP.