Srinagar: National Conference President Farooq Abdullah said on Monday that opposition parties and the people of Jammu and Kashmir would oppose any move to abrogate Article 35A of the Constitution.
He was speaking to reporters here after chairing a meeting of various parties, including leaders from the state unit of the Congress, the CPI(M), and several independents.
“When it will come to that decision (abrogation of Article 35A), you will see this mass (of people) rising. Do not forget that when that Amarnath Yatra (land row) thing happened, people rose overnight… 35A will be a far greater revolt,” Abdullah said.
The NC president, who is Member of Parliament from Srinagar, said that opposition parties were united on the issue and would make people aware of the fallout if the Article is done away with.
“The need is to sit together and discuss the issue of Article 35A, because it affects the whole state – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. It is very important that the people understand as to why we are against the abrogation of Article 35A, because it (government) wants to do away with our basic rights,” Abdullah said.
Article 35A allows the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state.
“All parties, whether in Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh, will try to make people understand the effect it (abrogation of the Article) will have on the state,” Abdullah said.
Asked about the course of action by the opposition parties, the NC president said that the issue is in the Supreme Court and the court has not given its decision yet.
“We will first raise this issue among the people like we did on the GST (recently). We will put it up vociferously before the people,” he said.
The state subject law should not be eroded at any cost, Abdullah said. He alleged that it was a BJP and RSS conspiracy to erode the special status of the state.
“As far as conspiracy is concerned, you all know that the agenda of BJP and RSS is basically to erode the autonomous structure of this state. And we, as a united front, are going to bring this to the people so that they know the fallout,” he said.
Abdullah claimed that the state government had not put up a strong representation before the Supreme Court after an NGO filed a writ petition in 2014 for the abrogation of Article 35A.
“It is now being fought legally. The state government has represented its case in the Supreme Court. Only unfortunate thing is that they did not put the high-class representation that should have been put before the Supreme Court,” he said.
Abdullah said that he had heard that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that if Article 35A is removed, she will quit her chair.
“I hope she stands by that statement of hers,” he said.