Reacting to a statement by the Jammu provincial president of National Conference, (NC) Devinder Rana, on the issue of Article 35A of the Constitution, which defines the residency laws in Jammu and Kashmir and bars outsiders from buying any immovable property or applying for jobs in the state government, the ruling BJP accused him of creating fear psychosis among the people of Jammu over the issue.
BJP alleged that the NC was responsible for promoting “majoritarianism” at the cost of minorities in the state.
“We are taking a serious note of the statement…he (Rana) tried to create a scary picture of the ill-effects on the people of Jammu region if Article 35A is held illegal by the Supreme Court. He is creating a fear psychosis,” BJP state spokesperson Anil Gupta said.
“His (Rana) statement that Jammu will be affected far more than Kashmir since no outsider will like to settle there but will flock in hordes to settle in Jammu clearly indicates the mindset of his party that has always advocated politics of exclusion,” he said.
It is a direct attack on the composite culture and communal tolerance of the people of Jammu, the BJP spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh said that Article 35(A) is a constitutional matter and that the Supreme court will take any decision related to it.
While speaking about Article 35(A) he said, “It is a constitutional matter. Let the Supreme Court take cognizance of this.”
He also backed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s stand on Article 35 (A) and supported the ruling the National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) in the state.
Earlier on Friday, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the position of political parties in the Valley on the legal challenge to Article 35A that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.
After the meeting, Mufti claimed Modi had assured that any discussion on the special provisions for the State would be on the basis of the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) between the PDP and the BJP.
Speaking on the same, Singh said, “The coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir takes the agenda of the alliance and takes decisions. We stand by the words of CM Mehbooba Mufti.”