Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured her of his support for the understanding that Article 370 was the basis of the Bharatiya Janata Party and People’s Democratic Party alliance in the state. Mufti was addressing the press after her meeting with Modi.
On August 8, the Supreme Court had admitted a plea challenging the legality of Article 370 of the Constitution and the special status it grants to Jammu and Kashmir. The court had issued a notice to the Central government and sought a response.
“The idea of India has to accommodate idea of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mufti said. “Discussions on [section] 35A have a negative impact on Jammu and Kashmir.”
The chief minister said the situation in the state was normalising, but that people still worry that Jammu and Kashmir’s special status may be under threat. “The message that Jammu and Kashmir is the crown of India should be reiterated,” she said.
Article 35A and Article 370
Article 35A, which is part of The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, gives the state legislature the power to define the “permanent residents” of the state and provide them with special rights and privileges. The provision disallows Indian citizens from outside the state to acquire immovable property in the state, take up jobs with the state government, avail of state-sponsored scholarships, or settle permanently anywhere in the Valley.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution grants Jammu and Kashmir special status.