Mehbooba begins awareness drive on Article 35A
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday started an awareness campaign regarding Constitution’s Article 35 A that offers special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents and bars non-residents from owning property in the state.
Deployment of additional security forces, a railway security officer’s notice seeking stockpiling of rations and an internal police department memo asking for details of mosques has triggered speculation that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre was planning to revoke Article 35 A.
Mufti travelled to three districts of south Kashmir—Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama— and held meetings with her People’s Democratic Party (PDP) activists to promote awareness about Article 35 A.
“I held a meeting with several prominent political workers of my party. I requested them that they should establish contacts with workers and leaders of other political parties like the NC [National Conference], Congress or even with the BJP. I spoke to them about the current situation and the special status, which is under threat. I asked them to sit together with workers of other political parties and formulate a joint strategy.”
As there are speculations that Article 35 A will be removed by the Centre, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday blamed mainstream political parties for spreading fear in the Valley.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Ram Madhav however said the BJP will take the decision which will be in the interest of the people. “The movement of forces personnel in Kashmir is a routine affair. ”