NC to defend Article 35A in SC: Omar Abdullah

POONCH AUGUST 27-Saying that National Conference is in touch with top legal luminaries of the country with a view to engage a counsel and contest Article 35A in the Supreme Court as a private party, Working President Mr Omar Abdullah on Sunday observed that the PDP led Jammu and Kashmir government cannot be trusted on this crucial and sensitive issue that relates to identity, dignity and existence of people of the State.

“We won’t let Article 35A to go at the strength and commitment of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”, Mr Omar Abdullah asserted while addressing NC rally at Poonch, adding that the machinations of  the BJP to repeal this proviso through judicial process will not be allowed to succeed.

Apparently referring to weak defense being put up by the PDP-BJP government in its counter in the apex court, the Working President said that both the coalition partners were using Article 35A as per their specific agendas.

“While the BJP is playing to galleries across the country by whipping up passions on this issue, the PDP is trying to involve the defenders of Article 35A by pretending to be serious in safeguarding this constitutional guarantee.

“We just can’t trust the PDP, as lust for remaining glued to power may make Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to give up and  compromise with the interests of the people”, he said and elaborated that National Conference is in talks with best available lawyers to defend the case as a private party, representing the people. He cautioned against the conspiracies being hatched by the BJP to dispense with Article 370 and Article 35A as per their well stitched strategy. However, he reiterated the resolve of the people, irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion to thwart all these conspiracies.

He dwelt upon the compelling circumstances that led Maharaja Hari Singh in 1927 to enact state subject laws and said these are relevant now more than ever before to save the interests of those locals holding land and finding representation in the state administration. He said the laws enacted 90 years ago have withstood the test of time in preserving the identity of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh besides preserving their legitimate rights.

Mr Omar Abdullah said that the PDP and BJP were using Article 35A as a double edged weapon against the people of Jammu and Kashmir; first to erode the special status of the state and second, to divert the attention of the people from governance deficit and their failure on all fronts. He said the sound foundation laid in respect of development and other utility services during six years tenure of his government has not been carried forward. There is huge dejection among people, who are craving for minimum basics. The various schemes like Food Security Act have failed and the people are running from pillar to post for quality food grains. The sugar quota to rationees has been stopped. Not only this, the promises of employment and ensuring basic minimum necessities to the people have proven hoax. He asked about the status of Rs 70, 000 Crore package announced by the Prime Minister, saying the constituencies are starving for development and progress. He said the poor have been deprived of their two time meals by withholding their wages under MGNAREGA. He said there is no sincerity and honestly in the coalition dispensation to serve the state, which is why the people were still remembering the previous rule of six years.

Expressing concern over the obtaining security scenario in the State, Mr Omar Abdullah said that as Chief Minister he never felt any sort of threat in moving around the Valley to interact with the people but as an Opposition leader he could not travel on Mughal Road to reach Poonch yesterday. “The security scenario has come to such a passe that the atmosphere of fear is again gripping the people”, he lamented and referred to the disturbed conditions, especially in the so-called core constituency of the PDP in south Kashmir. “I could not travel on Mughal Road due to security situation”, he added.

Mr Omar Abdullah took the coalition government head on for failing in providing any respite to border dwellers who are intermittently braving shells from across the border. He said no forward movement has been made in creating shelter sheds or constructing bunkers for safety of the people in forward areas during exigencies.

Former MLA and Youth National Conference Provincial President Mr Ajaz Jan also addressed the rally and highlighted various issues confronted to the border people, especially those living adjacent to zero line. He said the magnitude of their problems were enormous and the insensitive government has failed in mitigating these.

Mr Jan said that the problems of the people of Poonch have accumulated manifold during over past three years’ PDP-BJP misrule.

Besides Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana, prominent among those present in the rally included Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari, Mr Bashir Ahmed Wani, Qazi Mohammed Sayed Beg, Mr Bhag Hussain Rathore, Mr Baby Pradhan, Block Presidents and Block Secretaries.

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