JAMMU Stating Article 9 of the Constitution of J&K permitted changing the definition of “Permanent Citizen” if needed, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of BJP on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the Congress, the National Conference and the PDP over their stand on Article 35A, saying the hullabaloo created by the “Kashmir-centric” parties is aimed at disturbing the fragile peace in the Valley.
These political parties want to play politics over Article 35A of the Constitution of India by emotionally exploiting people and polarising them, BJP state spokesperson Brigadier Anil Gupta (retd) said in a statement here.
“These political parties want to play politics in name of Article 35A through emotional exploitation of the people and create polarisation in the state Even now the hullabaloo created by these parties is aimed at disturbing the fragile peace in the Valley that has emerged after imposition of the Governor’s Rule,” he said.
Gupta said Article 9 of the Constitution of J&K permitted changing the definition of “Permanent Citizen” if needed.
However, no government so far has availed the remedy provided by the Constitution to resolve the citizenship issue of West Pakistan refugees (WPR), Gurkhas and Valmiki Samaj, he said, adding that it was the lack of intent and not mechanics available to address the issue.
“There are enough remedies available to meet the aspirations of the affected people without tinkering with Article 35A but the leadership of Kashmir-centric parties has never been sincere about addressing their genuine grievances because their entire politics revolves around the Kashmiri-speaking Muslims,” the BJP leader said.
He added that by demanding the retention of Article 35A, the parties have proved that they have been playing vote bank politics with WPRs, Gorkhas, Valmiki Samaj and the daughters of the soil by falsely promising them grant of rights on the eve of elections.
“If Article 9 can be revoked to grant permanent citizenship to Tibetan Muslim refugees, why can’t the same be done for the Hindu refugees of Jammu region,” he asked.
He said these parties ironically called themselves secular and dub the BJP as communal.
Similarly, he said, in the case of Bachan Lal Kalgotra, the Supreme Court of India had advised the J&K government in 1987 to meet the justifiable grievances of the WPR by amending legislatures such as J&K Representation of Peoples Act, the Land Alienation Act, the Village Panchayat Act, without having to amend state’s Constitution or touching Article 35A.
“But none of the governments thereafter ever paid any heed to the advice of the Supreme Court because they were not interested in resolving the issue. They intended to keep it alive for vote bank politics and polarisation, as and when needed,” Gupta claimed.
As far as gender inequality is concerned, he said despite the favourable judgment in the Sushila Sawhney case, it was highly condemnable that both the NC and the PDP attempted to misuse the provision of Article 9 by introducing a bill, titled the Women (Disqualification) Bill, in the Assembly to deny women their rights. “Fortunately the bills did not see the light of the day,” he added.
In a landmark judgement on October 7, 2002, the full bench of the state high court, had in the JK Government and others V/s Susheela Sawhney and others, held, by a majority view, that the daughter of a permanent resident of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will not lose status as a permanent resident of the state on her marriage to a person who was not a permanent resident of the state.
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