Srinagar: The Mehbooba Mufti government is likely to send four of its ministers to New Delhi on Friday to shore support for the protection of Article 35A. The team of ministers is also expected to hold discussions with legal experts to counter the petition that has challenged the Article in the Supreme Court.
“The four ministers will likely leave for Delhi on Friday,” a government source said. “They would meet the central leadership to seek support for Article 35A and meet legal luminaries to discuss how to strike down the petition challenging the provision in the Supreme Court.”
The ministers who would visit Delhi are Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, Law Minister Haq Khan, Horticulture Minister Syed Basharat Bukhari, and Information, Food and Supplies Minister Choudhary Zulfikar.
Minister of State for Law Ajay Nanda said that he had no idea of the ministers’ trip and their purpose of visit to New Delhi.
“I have no idea about the visit,” Nanda told Kashmir Reader.
The Indian Express earlier reported that the four ministers will explore “legal support for the state government in Supreme Court on Article 35A”.
“We are going to Delhi on 18th (August) to see what can be done to put up a strong defence of our case,’’ Law Minister Abdul Haq Khan was quoted by the paper as saying. “We will meet people and seek further legal opinion.”
Another government source said that the visit will send a strong message to the people.
“The visit will send the message that the government is serious,” the source said.
Sources said that Drabu is being sent to Delhi as he was the architect of the Agenda of Alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and also smoothly implemented the Goods and Services Tax despite strong opposition to the tax in Jammu and Kashmir.
“He has good relations with the central leadership,” the sources said. “He can prove to be effective in securing support from the central leadership.”
Kashmir Reader had earlier reported that during her various meetings with the central leadership including with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was told that New Delhi cannot intervene in the matter as it was sub judice.