Article 35 (A) with regard to Kashmir

However a petition has recently been filed by right wing Hindu hardline Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backed think tank, Jammu Kashmir Study Centre, challenging Article 35-A in India's top court.

"The basis of our agenda of alliance is that status quo of 370 has to maintained none of us can go against that".

Kamal said former chief minister and NC Working President, Omar Abduyllah's assertion that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was playing on both sides was accurate as New Delhi had failed her in implementing the Agenda of Alliance (AoA), the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the debate on Article 35A of the Constitution that grants special status to the state and is being challenged in the Supreme Court. The response of the Prime Minister is positive.

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. Several legal luminaries are being consulted to prepare a draft of the resolution, sources said.

"We have to wait to see what stand the government of India and state governments take before the Supreme Court". The apex court is likely to pronounce its verdict in the case next month.

By signing the "same standard form of the Instrument of Accession", J&K came to be included in the First Schedule that lists the States and Union Territories subject to Article 1 of the Constitution, which defines the territorial composition of India.

Mehbooba said any attempt to repeal the provisions will worsen Kashmir's situation.

"People have been greatly sacrificing and tirelessly striving for their just cause which the world acknowledges but the (government of India) GoI does not want to accept and hence there is an all out assault and suppression against the people of Kashmir from all quarters by GoI in collaboration with their local allies", the leadership said. "A message should go that there is no such thing", Mufti said, adding that the state had been facing hard circumstances.

JeI urged people to be united against the "vicious move of abrogating Article 35 (A)". Senior BJP Leader Virendra Gupta, while speaking to PTI, said the time has come for Articles 35A and 370 to be struck down, as they promote a "separatist psyche" in the Valley.

It was after Mufti said at a recent event in Delhi that if Article 35A was tinkered with, there will be no one in Kashmir to uphold the national flag.

Vanessa Coleman