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'National Conference trying to create fear psychosis over Article 35A'

'National Conference trying to create fear psychosis over Article 35A'

Taking a jibe at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, former CM of the state Omar Abdullah on Friday said that whatever Mufti had said on the special status of the state is "immaterial".

Origin of the provisions of the Article 35A dates back to 1927 when the Dogras from Jammu approached Maharaja Hari Singh fearing that arrival of people from Punjab will lead to their control in government services.

Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a presidential order in 1954, it said.

Pakistan's Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakria in a statement on Thursday had accused India of trying to alter the demography of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing media here, NC provincial president and Nagrota MLA Devender Singh Rana, a close confidant of party leader Omar Abdullah, equated the article with the holy cow that can not be touched.

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Mehbooba Mufti, during her meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Modi, is learnt to have stressed the need to strongly defend Article 35 (A), now challenged by an NGO in the Supreme Court under a writ petition, so that the situation in Kashmir is not disturbed.

Referring to the petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Article 35 (A), Rana said his party is of the view that the attorney general presented a very weak defence in the court. He said the puppet regime has filed a short affidavit while government of India has not filed its affidavit in these proceedings. The issue is that Article 35A is considered the bedrock of the special status promised to Kashmir. "Firstly, the Government of India did not want to exercise too much of authority over Kashmir since it had committed itself to giving an opportunity to the people of Kashmir to finalise their future affiliations". Hence, it violates the Constitutional procedures established by law as the legislation, including Amendment to Constitution, is the sole function of the Parliament and not that of the executive. In the last 28 years of the separatist movement, different groups have called for over 2,200 days of shutdown - totaling 6 years- for Azadi and a plebiscite. "The Delhi-based media is projecting that by supporting Article 35A Kashmiris are being against rights of women etc".

The following arguments are put forward in favour of the Art 35A.

In the middle of debate on Article 35A, which allows Jammu and Kashmir to define its "permanent residents", the constitutional provision seems to have few takers among political parties and other organisations in Jammu. Hence, If the apex court rules that Art 35A is in violation of the Constitution, such a judgment will have to be made applicable to all the Constitutional Application Orders from 1950 till date.