Says PDP used as a vehicle for erosion of J&K’s special status
Srinagar: Opposition National Conference (NC) on Saturday said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was hand-in-glove with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and other affiliates of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in their concerted efforts to strike down Article 35 A and revoke the state’s special status.
In a statement issued in Srinagar, NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar and provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said Mehbooba Mufti’s claim of getting an alleged “assurance” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood exposed as a brazen lie by senior BJP leaders who have gone on record to say that there has been no change in the BJP’s total and complete opposition to Article 35 A and Article 370.
“Post-Mehbooba Mufti’s meeting with the Prime Minister, senior BJP functionaries have made it abundantly clear that BJP will continue to actively seek ways and means to strike down Article 35 A and (that) there had been no change in their stand on the issue. This has yet again exposed Mehbooba Mufti and her party and their inexhaustible reservoir of lies,” the statement quoted NC leaders as saying.
The NC leaders said Mehbooba Mufti’s government was being used as a political vehicle for the constitutional erosion of J&K’s special status. “It is Mehbooba Mufti and the PDP who have facilitated this assault on Article 35 A. PDP’s ‘Agenda of Alliance’ has been thrown into the dustbin by the BJP. The BJP has formally distanced itself from every single promise made by both parties in the document. It is ridiculous and laughable that Mehbooba Mufti still refers to this disowned, abandoned and meaningless scam of a document,” the senior NC leaders added.
“What was the state government doing till the precise moment the Attorney General of India refused to file a counter affidavit to the PIL against 35 A? If PDP has in fact managed to get BJP to agree on a ‘status-quo’ on J&K’s special status (as stated in their ‘Agenda of Alliance’), why didn’t the Central Government go on record to defend Article 35 A? The Attorney General rather said the Central Government was in favour of a ‘larger debate’ on the issue. That statement in itself exposes PDP’s hypocrisy,” the leaders added.
The NC leaders asked Mehbooba Mufti to stop fooling the people of the state and come clean on her active role in this elaborate and pre-meditated plan to rob the state of its special status and identity. “For how long will Mehbooba Mufti and PDP fool the people of the state? They want to govern with the BJP but also simultaneously work with the opposition in opposing her own alliance partner and its longstanding ideological agenda. Her drama of trying to evolve a consensus is nothing short of a smokescreen to divert the people’s attention from her own complicity, while PDP and BJP work together to revoke J&K’s special status,” Sagar and Wani said in the statement.
The NC leaders reminded Mehbooba Mufti of repeated warnings and reminders by National Conference working president Omar Abdullah, both inside and outside the state Assembly, about the BJP’s active and covert plan to launch a judicial assault on Article 35 A through hitherto-unknown NGOs known to be affiliated with the RSS. “Despite these repeated warning and red-flags raised by our party, Mehbooba Mufti and her Law Minister, under PDP’s quid-pro-quo arrangement with the BJP, chose inaction and obfuscation on this crucial issue. They provided these NGOs with an open playing field by being callous and also deliberately mounting an inadequate and grossly deficient legal representation to defend Article 35 A. The disastrous lack of quality legal defence by the PDP-BJP (government) has been highlighted by the Supreme Court as well in a similar case under its purview where the state’s legal team failed to even conceive a basic affidavit explaining its position,” the NC leaders further stated.