World

Kashmir shuts down over attempts to repeal special status provision

Kashmir shuts down over attempts to repeal special status provision

Following her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she received "100 percent assurance" on maintenance of the status quo of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, which provide the state its "special status".

It is added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 - issued by the President of India, "in exercise of the powers conferred by" clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Opposition National Conference (NC) on Saturday demanded a statewide referendum on Jammu and Kashmir's special status enshrined in the Constitution. "And that identity should always remain alive", said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader who heads a coalition government with the Bharatiya Janata Party. Fundamental rights are also part of the basic structure of the Indian Constitution, which can not be amended at all as the apex court has stated. Therefore, Article 35A is in direct violation of Article 14. For mainstream political parties, who are confronting their biggest ever crisis these days, leaders are unsure if they can continue as mainstream (pro-India ) politicians if the Supreme Court strikes down the law.




Mehbooba Mufti said any attempt to fiddle with Article 35 (A) - which empowers state legislators to define permanent residents and extend voting, jobs and inheritance rights to them - will have a negative impact in the state that has a "peculiar diversity where everything is different".

"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". The issue is that Article 35A is considered the bedrock of the special status promised to Kashmir. It leads to the violation of the right of a woman to "marry a man of her choice".

Abdullah had told her that she should meet the prime minister, all important central ministers and also the BJP leadership to convince the Sangh Parivar against striking down the constitutional provision. Going by Ms Mufti's assertion, it's now expected that Attorney General K K Venugopal will on behalf of the government defend the law in court. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that there is an improvement in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.


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