Three National Conference MPs, including party president Farooq Abdullah, held a sit-in protest outside Parliament on Monday, demanding the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status that was revoked on August 5, 2019.
The Centre in August 2019 revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two Union Territories. The Centre had also abrogated Article 35A, which empowered the erstwhile state’s legislature to define the “permanent residents” of the state
Abdullah, during the protest on Monday, held placards demanding that the decisions should be revoked, on similar lines to the Centre’s decision to repeal the three contentious farm laws.
Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi were the other two National Conference MPs who participated in the protest.
The National Conference also demanded impartial judicial investigations into the gunfights in the Hyderpora, Rambagh and Lawaypora areas of Srinagar.
The MPs on Monday gave a short attention notice in the Lok Sabha under Rule 193 to discuss the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “Masoodi in his individual capacity also gave a calling attention notice for discussion on Hyderpora shootout,” the party said on Twitter.
Abdullah and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had demanded the restoration of Article 370 on November 19 as well, soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government had decided to repeal the farm laws.
Meanwhile, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Monday also criticised Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for his purported statement that Article 370 will not return, the Hindustan Times reported.
Abdullah said that Article 370 was the legacy of the Congress and came into existence because of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“If the Congress cannot protect and stand up for its own legacy, then what would it do with the people and their issues,” he asked at a rally in the Kishtwar district.
Abdullah said that although the Congress was not willing to fight for the restoration of the constitutional provision, the National Conference will “fight it alone”.
Azad, however, claimed that his statement had been misrepresented by some sections of the media, PTI reported. He demanded the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, and for the Assembly elections to be held early next year.