Newspaper: Mehbooba opposes repeal of Kashmir's special status

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.

This comes at a time when the J&K alliance has become strained as the CM is fighting growing calls from her own ally BJP to repeal the law.

"The Articles 370 and 35-A stand challenged in the Supreme Court, hence it is a judicial matter and judiciary is free to do anything". "No one can go against it". The autonomy resolution passed by the J&K assembly in 2000, which asks for restoration of the 1953 position, also recommends that the word "temporary" be omitted so Article 370 becomes a permanent feature of the Constitution of India. The assurance given by the Prime Minister can not be taken seriously.

After the meeting, Ms. Mufti claimed Mr. Modi had assured that any discussion on the special provisions for the State would be on the basis of the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) between the PDP and the BJP. More than 6,000 mainstream party workers, mainly from Farooq Abdullah's National Conference, have been killed during militancy just because they stood by the covenant. Several legal luminaries are being consulted to prepare a draft of the resolution, sources said.

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. "Let the Supreme Court take cognizance of this". The apex court is likely to pronounce its verdict in the case next month.

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

They said, "For the last seven decades and particularly in the last three decades people of Kashmir and the leadership with the full support of people in Chenab Valley, Kishtwar Doda and across to Kargil are engaged in a political struggle based upon the principle of truth and justice to resolve the political conflict raging in the region since the partition of the subcontinent". "A message should go that there is no such thing", Mufti said, adding that the state had been facing hard circumstances.

The J&K unit of BJP has demanded Centre to side with the petitioners seeking the abrogation of the two articles.

The state BJP, an alliance partner in the state government, had upped the ante with its spokesperson Virendra Gupta saying yesterday that time had come to bid a farewell to Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution as they created a "separatist psyche".

Vanessa Coleman

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