Article 35 A: End ambiguity or we will boycott Lok Sahba polls also, Dr Abdullah to Centre

Srinagar, Sep 8: Threatening to boycott Lok Sabha and Assembly elections if the Centre does not end ambiguity in its stand on Article 35 A, National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said that his party has already announced to stay away from Panchayat and Municipal polls scheduled from next month in the state.

My party will boycott Lok Sabha and assembly elections as well if the Government of India (GoI) doesn’t end its ambiguity in its stand on Article 35-A, former Chief Minister Dr Abdullah told reporters at a function organized to commemorate the 36th death anniversary of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in Srinagar here.

The NC had announced boycott of Panchayat and Urban Local bodies polls scheduled from next month in the state.

Article 35A refers to a constitutional provision that allows the Jammu & Kashmir assembly to define permanent residents of the state. However, a number of petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court (SC) demanding scrapping of the Article. After a counter of petitions were filed by a number of mainstream party leaders, including NC and Communist Party of India (M), the SC listed the case in January next year.

According to the Jammu & Kashmir Constitution, a Permanent Resident is defined as a person who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been residing in the state for a period of 10 years, and has “lawfully acquired immovable property in the state”.

Article 370, on the other hand, guarantees special status to the state.

Dr Abdullah said there are people with vested interests in both India and Pakistan who do not want relations between the two countries to improve.

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