Srinagar, August 8
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has warned that “mainstream” parties will cease to exist if Jammu and Kashmir’s special status is further eroded.
“It is a challenge for all political parties in J&K, who swear by the J&K Constitution and the Constitution of India. There is hardly anything left in our special status and if Article 35 A is tampered with, we will cease to exist. It will be a death knell to the mainstream here. We will have nothing to tell our people,’’ Mehbooba was quoted as saying by the Indian Express after her meeting with rival National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday.
Mufti who called on Abdullah at his Gupkar residence said she sought his “guidance and support on the issue of special status of our state which is under serious threat”.
“We are all together in this,” she said, adding she had requested Abdullah to raise the issue “with the leaders in Delhi as well.”
Mehbooba who also held a meeting with the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief G A Mir said that she was planning to talk to other leaders and political parties to “build a consensus on how to protect our special status. I am also calling an all-party meeting soon.’’
Article 35 A is a provision of the Indian Constitution that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.
The Supreme Court has set a six-week deadline for the final disposal of a petition seeking the abrogation of Article 35 A after it referred the matter to a three-judge bench last month, causing an uproar in the Valley.