Chief minister Omar Abdullah, who had on Sunday hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for being factually incorrect on laws regarding women in the state, on Monday conceded that the National Conference had supported a bill which was discriminatory against women.
He made the admission after senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley posted on social networking website Facebook that the NC had consistently, and even before the high court, held the stand that a woman loses her rights of being a state subject holder if she marries a person who is not a permanent resident of the state.
Reacting to the post, Omar tweeted, "That the NC supported a bill that would have continued the discriminatory framework against women some years ago is a fact, no denying that. That the NC, in power for five years now, has made no attempt to revive that bill, nor has any intention to do so, is also a fact that cannot be denied."
Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in Jammu on Sunday, had asked why Omar's sister Sara, who is married to union minister Sachin Pilot, cannot have the same rights that he has, only because she has married outside the state, which was rebutted by the CM on micro-blogging website Twitter.
Jaitley had written that the ruling NC government, represented by its advocate general in a case against the discriminatory provision of the law, had vehemently opposed the plea of "the daughters".
The BJP leader had posted the judgment which reads, "Advocate general MA Goni contended that a female descendent of a permanent resident of the state on marriage to a non-permanent resident of the state would lose the status of a permanent resident of the state and would not be a permanent resident of the state as defined under Section 6 of the state Constitution."
A full bench of the Jammu and Kashmir high court had on October 7, 2002, re-interpreted the law and by a majority judgement held that a daughter marrying outside the state would not lose her status as a permanent resident.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP), which was in coalition with the Congress, had in 2004 had introduced The Jammu and Kashmir Resident (Disqualification) Bill, 2004, which attempted to statutorily nullify the majority view of the high court. The bill was supported by the NC and passed by the legislative assembly but ran into trouble after Congress opposed it in the legislative council.
The council chairman had adjourned the House without voting and referred it to the assembly, where it got stuck again.
Jaitley also posted, "Can chief minister Omar Abdullah ignore the dubious track record of his party on this issue?".