Asks Mehbooba Mufti to draw lessons from history and look at the fate of those who connived in diluting J&K’s special status
Srinagar: National Conference president and former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah said on Saturday that a “long-existing lobby” in New Delhi, which has been at work to erode J&K’s autonomous character, has “reinvented its mission” to obliterate whatever little remains of it.
Addressing a day-long lawyers’ conclave organised by the party’s legal cell at NC Headquarters in Srinagar on Saturday, Abdullah said Mehbooba Mufti and her colleagues “should draw lessons from history and fear the repercussions of political connivance with forces inimical to the interests of the state”.
“I have personally witnessed how a long-existing lobby in New Delhi has used pliant leaders and regimes in the state to erode Article 370 and rob the state of its constitutionally guaranteed internal autonomy – one step at a time. This is a chronicle of betrayals and breach of faith that started with the deposition and incarceration of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and continues to this day,” Farooq said.
He said the efforts of this lobby today manifest in the form of the extension of NFSA and NEET to the state, while the PDP-BJP government is “peddling an ‘Industrial Policy’ which is glaringly conspicuous in its ambiguity on the question of non-state-subject investors and promoters”.
“What others did between 1953 and 1975, PDP is following suit and re-enacting the same master-servant opportunistic relationship that has wreaked havoc with our state,” Abdullah said.
He said Mehbooba should see how people first disowned and then completely forgot those pliant leaders who connived against the state’s political rights to remain in power.
“This is not just about NFSA, NEET or the Industrial Policy. There is a larger, more sinister plan to destroy Article 370 by rendering it irrelevant and the legal fraternity is duty-bound to remain vigilant and fight against this subversion of our political rights and honour,” the NC president said.
He said that New Delhi “impulsively” rejected the Autonomy resolution his government passed in the Legislative Assembly in 2000 without “bothering to review and analyze its constitutional validity and feasibility”.
Abdullah said that after dismissing the resolution, New Delhi felt the need to “prop up another regional party in the state to sabotage our demand for the restoration of Internal Autonomy”.
“Today that regional party (PDP) is dutifully helping New Delhi in the extension of central laws and examinations to the state without a word of opposition or disagreement. They are repaying New Delhi’s political investment in them since the past two decades and we cannot afford to not remain vigilant about these internal foes and Trojan Horses,” he added.
National Conference has been criticised for talking about autonomy only when out of power and for taking several decisions, such as formation of Amarnath Yatra Board and gifting land to army, which have diluted the special status of the state.
Asking lawyers to defend Article 370 and the State’s special status, Abdullah said, “You have the legal acumen and the knowledge to foil these attempts to undermine the state’s autonomy and rob what remains of Article 370. We saw how the judiciary stood up to the Central government in Uttarakhand and upheld the sanctity of democracy and the constitution and this is something that should inspire all of us.”