Poonch: Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that his party, the National Conference (NC), was consulting top legal luminaries so as to engage a counsel to defend Article 35A in the Supreme Court as a private party.
“We won’t let Article 35A to go,” Omar said while addressing a rally at Poonch.
He said that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot be trusted.
“We just can’t trust the PDP, as the lust for remaining glued to power may make Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti give up the interests of the people,” he said.
He said that the NC was talking to the best lawyers to defend Article 35A in the Supreme Court, as a private party representing the people of J&K.
He said that both the BJP and the PDP were using Article 35A as per their specific agendas.
“While the BJP is playing to the galleries across the country by whipping up passions on the issue, the PDP is trying to involve with itself the defenders of Article 35A by pretending to be serious in safeguarding this constitutional guarantee,” he said.
He dwelt upon the reasons that led Maharaja Hari Singh in 1927 to enact state-subject laws and said these were relevant now more than ever, to save the interests of the people of the state.
He said the laws enacted 90 years ago had withstood the test of time in preserving the identity of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, besides preserving their legitimate rights.
He said the PDP and BJP were using Article 35A both to erode the special status of the state and to divert attention from the government’s failure on all fronts.
He said that government schemes like the Food Security Act had completely failed and people were running from pillar to post to procure food grain.
“The sugar quota has been stopped. The promises of employment and ensuring basic minimum necessities have proven false,” he said, and asked about the status of Rs 70,000-crore package announced by Prime Minister Modi for J&K.
NC leaders Devender Singh Rana, Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari, Bashir Ahmed Wani, Qazi Mohammed Sayed Beg, and Bhag Hussain Rathore were present at the rally.