The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah on Monday warned the Centre against any move to abrogate Articles 35A and 370 that accord special status to the state and its people.
“Article 35A & Article 370 should not be removed. It forms our foundation. There is no need to remove it. We are Hindustani but they (Article 35A & Article 370) are important for us,” the former CM and National Conference leader said in New Delhi.
This comes days after another former CM Mehbooba Mufti warned that any attempt to tinker with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir would blow up in its face
The Peoples Democratic Party president said, “We want to tell central government that tinkering with Article 35A is like picking up explosives. Not only will those hands burn which are raised to touch 35A but also the whole body will become ashes,” Mufti said at a function.
The comments of top leaders come came after a central government order allowed additional 100 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to be deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to reinforce counter-insurgency operations and maintain law and order.
The order triggered rumors about the likely abrogation of Article 35A, the special provision which grants the Jammu and Kashmir legislature the right to determine the criteria for permanent residency in the state.
The ruling party at the Centre, the BJP has been opposed to the special status of the state and has proposed its abrogation.
“There is fear inside. Everything has been finished like the J&K Bank and other things. Slowly, the attempts are being made to weaken a Kashmiri; to weaken him politically as well as economically. Nobody will stand against this except my party,” Mufti said.
The PDP chief said that her party was ready for anything for the state’s special status. “Anything can happen, you should not worry but PDP will fight till death for the identity of Jammu and Kashmir and Article 370,” she said.
Article 370 of the Constitution grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Four petitions have challenged Article 35A’s legality in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it was never presented before Parliament and was implemented on the President’s orders in 1954.