Questioning Art 35 A Will Re-Open Accession Debate: Omar  

SRINAGAR — Former Chief Minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said any attempts to tinker with Art 35A will have serious ramifications and would inevitably reopen the debate on J&Ks accession with the Union of India.

Addressing the monthly Provincial Committee (Kashmir) Meeting at party Headquarters ‘Nawa-e-Subha’ in Srinagar, the NC Vice President reminded the powers that be that J&K acceded with the Union of India on certain conditions unlike the other princely states in 1947. “If legality of the Article 35 A comes under scanner, then the relationship between the state and country will also come under scrutiny.”

He referred to various guarantees that the state enjoyed within Constitution of India. While recalling the unique status of J&K, he said, “All our Constitutional authorities assume office after taking oath under our own States Constitution. Our State is the only state in the country where this is possible.” 

He said the voices coming out to support and protect Art 35 A are region, religion neutral and any attempts to give it a communal color have been defeated. “BJP MLA from RS Pura recently spoke passionately in favour of Art 35 A and even lauded Kashmiris for their continuous support to 35 A. It should serve as an eye opener for those who are speaking against it. Even people in Ladakh are openly coming out in favor of Art 35 A,” Mr. Omar Abdullah said adding, “It was our party which raised the issue of Art 35 A in the legislative Assembly in 2015. The then PDP BJP government had no idea about the threats to states special status and were not alarmed for reasons known to them. Upon our persistence, the government finally took the legal course on Art 35A.”

While reiterating the party’s resolve to fight for states special status at all fora, Mr Omar Abdullah said, “We will fight for Art 35 A both legally as well as on the streets. While we continue with our peaceful protests in favour of Art 35 A across the state, our party has also filed an intervention plea in the SC and has sought the services of best possible lawyers to protect Art 35 A in the SC.”  

He took a detailed review of organizational activities in all Districts of Kashmir Province. In the meeting party functionaries spoke at length on party activities in their respective areas and apprised the leadership on measures to make party strong at grass root levels.  

The meeting was attended by Party Legislators and Senior Leaders including NC General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, Senior Leader Abdul Rahim Rather, Mohammad Shafi Uri in addition to State Secretaries, Zone Presidents, District Presidents, Constituency incharges and members of the Provincial Committee.

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