Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah has hit out at the BJP’s stand on scrapping Article 370 which grants special status to the militancy-wracked state.In a statement on Friday from London, where he is undergoing treatment for kidney ailment, Abdullah said that the BJP statements on the legislation "are unfortunate and worrying".
"BJP leaders should take caution before issuing such statements. Article 370 is an issue of life and death for the Kashmiri people," Abdullah said adding that the legislation "is the foundation and basis of the relationship" between the state and rest of the country.
The BJP has long been advocating abrogation of Article 370 but has been forced to dilute its stand in the ongoing assembly polls in the state. Aiming to grab power in the country’s only Muslim majority state, the BJP has made no mention of Article 370 in its manifesto for the five-phase assembly polls.
In his first statement during the polls, Abdullah also said that revocation of the special status to Kashmir will weaken the integrity of the country and pose a threat to peace in the state.
Abdullah also appealed to voters to cast their votes “wisely keeping in mind the progressive and prosperous six years” the government led by his son Omar Abdullah.
“I appeal to people to vote for their National Conference candidates and make them victorious with a huge margin so that we could stand resolutely between political marauders and the interests of J-K,” he added.
Abdullah was scheduled to undergo kidney transplant in London in October but the surgery was delayed owing to an infection.