Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah on Friday demanded that the Union government should reinstate the special status of the erstwhile state.
The demand came soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that the Centre would repeal the three contentious agriculture laws by the end of the month in the Winter Session of Parliament.
On August 5, 2019, the Centre had abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution.
While Article 370 gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Article 35A empowered the erstwhile state’s legislature to define the “permanent residents” of the state and provide them with special rights and privileges.
The erstwhile state was also bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh – following the August 5 decision.
On Friday, Mufti and Abdullah welcomed the government’s decision to repeal the contentious farm laws. She described the decision as one that “stems from electoral compulsions” and said that Jammu and Kashmir had been stripped off its special status due to the same intention.
“Desecrating Indian Constitution to dismember and disempower Jammu and Kashmir was done only to please their voters,” the Peoples Democratic Party chief wrote in a tweet. “I hope they course correct here too and reverse the illegal changes made in Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019.”
Abdullah made the same demand while speaking to India Today.
On being asked what should be the government’s approach towards Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference leader said: “He [Modi] himself said he wants to win the hearts of people. The hearts of the people can be won be returning the statehood [of Jammu and Kashmir] immediately, and secondly, the [Article] 370 which is part of the Constitution should be brought back.”