Jammu: The National Conference’s Other Backward Class (OBC) cell on Sunday took out a march here in support of Article 35A, describing it as a constitutional guarantee to the distinct identity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Carrying placards, the protesters raised slogans, emphasising the need for its preservation. Addressing the protesters, Abdul Gani Teli, co-chairman of the OBC cell, cautioned that repealing Article 35A would cost the state’s youths their jobs and businesses would be hugely impacted with the influx of “non-state subjects” into the state. “National Conference is reaching out to the people everywhere in the state to apprise the people about the serious ramifications of repealing Article 35A,” he said.
The party’s provincial vice-president Chaudhry Haroon described Article 35A as pivotal for the interests of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, irrespective of religion or caste. “This constitutional provision pertains to the interests and dignity of every citizen of the state.”
Exhorting the cadre to galvanise the people in support of the Article 35A, he said the party would fight tooth and nail against the alleged attempts of weakening or diluting the constitutional provision.
Article 35A provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of J&K. The Supreme Court had on August 6 adjourned the hearing on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the article, saying its three-judge bench had been hearing the case and would consider whether it needed to be referred to a larger bench. The apex court has listed the matter for hearing in the week commencing August 27.