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Article 370: Omar slams Advani

india Updated: Jun 27, 2013 00:23 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Prime Minister

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose not to make political speeches during his two day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the state chief minister however took on the BJP for their recent Kashmir remarks.

Abdullah on Wednesday criticised BJP leadership (without naming them) for raising `the false boggy of revocation' of Article 370 that provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani's had pushed for repealing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in his blog on June 23, the 60th death anniversary of party's founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, saying it would help `Jammu and Kashmir's full integration with India'.

"The country eagerly awaits the day when Article 370 would be repealed and the two vidhans (Constitution) also would become one."

Article 370 accords special Constitutional status to J&K and its abolition has been one of BJP's core demands. The party had put the issue on backburner in its attempt to woo more allies, most of whom are wary of its Hindutva agenda.

Calling the recent remarks `poll ploy', remembered only when elections are near, Omar said, "We the people of Jammu and Kashmir categorically tell them that revocation of Article 370 is not possible at all and any attempt would be on our dead bodies,'' he said.

Calling Article 370 integral to Kashmir's integration with India, Abdullah said attempts to revoke would ``weaken the bonds between the two''.

``The relations between Jammu and Kashmir and Union of India have been established through Article 370 by the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Late Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Prime Minister of India, Late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru."

He said NC and Congress would work jointly to further cement and strengthen these relations.
Omar questioned the BJP on their silence on the issue during their six and half years of power.

"BJP only raises the issue of Article 370 when elections are in sight", Abdullah said.
Abdullah was speaking at a function after inauguration of Banihal-Qazigund Railway Tunnel and Line by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Speaking about his alliance with the Congress party, Abdullah said that the two parties would nurture nationalism and nationalistic forces in the state.

Abdullah said while Article 370 was a constitutional link, the rail link brings Kashmir closer to the rest of the country.

"It has not only linked the areas and the regions but the hearts as well", he said.
The war of words had started with the BJP when Abdullah had reacted to Advani being called a `secular leader'.

"L K Advani as the NDA's mascot of secularism. Who would have imagined!!!!!!" Omar tweeted. The tweet got strong reactions from state BJP leaders.

Abdullah is known for his passionate speeches. Incidentally, a similar speech during the 2008 vote of confidence for BJP had won him followers and admirers all over the country.