Srinagar: Autonomy forms the core of the relationship between the state and the Centre, CPI(M) MLA from Kulgam, M Y Tarigami, said today. He said that the Autonomy was provided to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution of India.
Tarigami said that “fiddling with Article 35 A of the Constitution” was not acceptable.
“J&K acceded to India under the guarantees provided by the Constitution of India. It is the Constituent Assembly which incorporated Article 370 in the Constitution providing a constitutional basis for the relationship of J&K with the Union,” Tarigami said in a statement here.
Autonomy guaranteed under this constitutional provision is the “core of the relationship” between state and the Centre, he added.
The CPI(M) leader expressed surprise that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had characterised the demand for autonomy for J&K as “encouraging national disintegration”.
“It is surprising that those at the helm of affairs in New Delhi have characterised any demand for more autonomy to J&K as encouraging national disintegration,” he said.
Tarigami said the government of India, which initially recognised the special status for J&K, could not maintain this position.
“After 1953, steadily the process of centralisation and erosion of autonomy began. Article 370 was subverted and misused to eliminate most aspects of the autonomy. The constitution application to J&K order of 1954 took off subjects in the Union list out of the purview of the state legislature and not just those mentioned in the instrument of accession,” he said.
There were 43 constitution (application to J&K) orders extending the scope of central intervention and laws which were not envisaged either at the time of adoption of Article 370 or the Delhi Agreement of 1952, he said.
The four-time legislator said the reality is that from holding special status, Jammu and Kashmir now has been deprived of the rights and powers which other states enjoy.
“The process of scuttling the spirit of Article 370 has only encouraged those elements who wanted to undermine J&K’s relations with the Union. The deep rooted and the massive alienation resulting in unprecedented unrest is in reality the outcome of the process of erosion of autonomy and denial of democracy to the people of J&K,” he claimed.
Tarigami said the dialogue process can be meaningful only when this political issue is addressed aiming at protecting the rights of the people.
“Autonomy, which is the core of the issue, has to be restored and people of the state assured that their distinct identity cannot be weakened in any form, whatsoever, in future,” he said.
Denial of restoration of Article 370 and fiddling with Article 35A of the Constitution is unacceptable, he added.
Article 35A empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents and confer them with special rights and privileges.