Article 35A is the new topic that people of Kashmir are being heard discussing of late. Intellectual and political circles are abuzz that something major is going to happen when it comes to constitutional status of the state.
The activity has been triggered by a petition in the Supreme Court seeking abrogation of Article 35A. Though the case has been going on since 2014, what has caused panic is the recent reply by the Centre to the court.
In the previous hearing the attorney general told the court that the issue can be debated. This to a lot of people was an indication of that the Centre was taking a soft approach in the case – which could benefit the petitioner who seeks deletion of the article.
Political clamour over it has already begun. The opposition parties seem to be united on this issue in the state.
“This is a serious matter and we all need to stand together. We have created awareness among people across the state about it,” said MLA MY Tarigami after meeting Farooq Abdullah.
“This issue can have wider ramifications. We all remember what happened during Amarnath land row, people came out overnight. If Article 35A is abrogated The revolt is going to be bigger,” said National Conference (NC) chief Dr Farooq Abdullah.
CALL FOR BANDH
In a joint statement the Hurriyat and other separatist parties have called for a Kashmir bandh in an attempt to abrogate Article 35A.
Meanwhile in a late evening development, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday met opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. The meeting is being seen in the backdrop of the debate on Article 35A.
“Mehbooba called on @JKNC_ President this evening to discuss the prevailing political situation in the state. It was a cordial meeting,” tweeted NC working president Omar Abdullah.
Earlier Mehbooba Mufti was quoted saying in a function in Delhi that if Article 35A was touched, there won’t be anyone in the state to bear the national flag.
Lately a petition was filed by an NGO in the Supreme Court, seeking abrogation of the constitutional provision. This Article is important to the state as it defines the special privileges enjoyed by permanent residents of the state.
Political parties in the Valley are all set to rake up the Article 35A issue, which confers special rights and privileges on Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents.
National Conference has called for a meeting of the opposition parties to discuss the sensitive issue.
Article 35A was specifically devised to grant protection to the state subject laws that had already been defined under the Maharaja’s rule and notified in 1927 and 1932.
It was added through the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, issued under Article 370. In 2014, an NGO, We the Citizens, filed a petition seeking the abrogation of Article 35A. The J&K government in its affidavit sought dismissal of the petition, however the central government hasn’t.
In fact, in the last hearing the attorney general was reportedly had told the double bench that the petition raises constitutional issues and it wa