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‘If Article 370 is withdrawn, J-K ties with India will be over’: Mehbooba Mufti to Centre

In such an eventuality, the people of the country’s only Muslim-majority state would be forced to think whether they want to remain with India or not, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2019 19:49 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Srinagar
Mehbooba Mufti,Jammu and Kashmir,J-K ties
Article 370 of the Constitution is a bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and India and if it goes, people in the state will be forced to think if they want to be with New Delhi or not, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday.(HT File Photo)

Hitting back at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for advocating repeal of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday that the relationship between the Union and the state would be over if Article 370 of the Constitution is revoked.

“Jaitley must understand this. It is not an easy thing to say. If you scrap (Article) 370, your relation with J-K will be over,” Mehbooba told party workers at her residence here.

Jaitley had on Thursday advocated repeal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and said Article 35A, which restricts non-permanent residents to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, is “constitutionally vulnerable” and also hampering economic development of the state.

Mehbooba said Article 370 was a bridge between the Union and the state and if the special provision of the Constitution was revoked, then New Delhi would have to “renegotiate” its relationship with Jammu and Kashmir.

The former chief minister has said in case Article 370 is revoked, Jammu and Kashmir will have to rethink whether it wants to stay with India. “Because if you have given us a special position in the Constitution of India and you break that position, then we will have to rethink whether we would even want to stay with you without conditions,” she said.

Earlier, National Conference leader Mohammad Abdullah Wani and Awami Insaf Party chief Ghulam Ahmad Sheikh Saloora joined the PDP, along with their supporters. Wani and Saloora were welcomed into the party fold by Mehbooba and party patron Muzaffar Hussain Beigh.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

First Published: Mar 30, 2019 18:08 IST