rinagar, March 29 (IANS) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said the special status of Jammu and Kashmir has been under constant threat ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Abdullah said: “The special status of the state guaranteed under Article 35A of the Constitution has been under threat right from the beginning but after the right wing BJP came to power, the threat of its abrogation has only increased.”
He said Jammu and Kashmir is not the only state in the country that has a special status and identity of its own.
“The Northeast, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar or Lakshadweep also have special status and their own identity under the same Indian constitution.
“Why is it that always Jammu and Kashmir has to face the onslaught of these right wing parties?”
He said that the special status is not only for the Kashmir Valley Muslims.
“Article 35A is beneficial for Kargil, Leh as well as for the people of the Jammu region,” he asserted.
The former Chief Minister’s reaction was triggered by the recent comments of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who said that Article 35A was an impediment to the state ‘s development.
In a blog titled ‘The rule of law and the state of Jammu and Kashmir’, Jaitley said: “Article 35A is a surreptitious executive insertion in the Constitution.”
He said it was neither a part of the original Constitution, nor was it an amendment that needs to be approved by a two-third majority of both Houses of Parliament.