Article 370: Mehbooba says PM assures no fidgeting with J-K special status
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is fighting growing calls from her ally BJP to abrogate Article 35A, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges.india Updated: Aug 11, 2017 23:56 IST
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday who she said assured her of no fidgeting with Article 370, which grants special status to her state.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of a debate on Article 35A of the Constitution, which was added to Article 370 in 1954 by a presidential decree, and is being challenged in the Supreme Court.
Mufti is fighting growing calls from her ally BJP to abrogate the law, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges.
“Discussions on 35A have a negative impact on Jammu & Kashmir, it should not happen. The basis of our agenda of alliance is that status quo of 370 has to maintained. None of us can go against that,” said Mufti.
The Jammu and Kahsmir BJP had upped the ante with its spokesperson Virendra Gupta on Thursday saying time had come to bid a farewell to Article 370 and Article 35A as they created a “separatist psyche”.
In New Delhi, Mufti also referred to Kashmir choosing to remain with India, despite being a Muslim majority state, indicating that New Delhi must accommodate the demands of the people to retain the special status.
“The idea of India has to accommodate the idea of Jammu and Kashmir,” said the chief minister after he meeting with the PM in his Parliament office.
“ Spoke to PM. The situation is normalising but people think our identity can be in danger. So the message that J&K is crown of India should be reiterated,” she said.
Mufti, who arrived in the capital on Thursday, met home minister Rajnath Singh. Officials in the home ministry said its law officers would be presenting legal aspects related to Article 35A only and would refrain from joining the case.
The chief minister had met opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah earlier this week to seek the support of his party on the issue.
Abdullah had told her that she should meet the prime minister, all important central ministers and the BJP leadership to convince the Sangh Parivar against striking down the constitutional provision.
(With agency inputs)