The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Wednesday urged the Centre to not revoke the state’s special status and bifurcate the region into two Union Territories, PTI reported. The state will transition into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh on Thursday.

“As we are coming closer to becoming a UT, psychologically the feeling of inferiority has started gripping us,” National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana told reporters in Jammu. “We are here to make an appeal as voices were raised from every corner that we should not make it an issue of prestige and instead work together to ensure that the 200-year-old state founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh is kept as a state.”

“Jammu and Kashmir is crown of India and we are and will remain part of India,” he added. “We are Indian and will always remain Indian. The Jammu and Kashmir Constitution also makes it clear that the state is and shall remain an integral part of India and we have no doubts about it.”

The party urged intellectuals, academicians, civil society, traders and others to request President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain Jammu and Kashmir as a state. “I request my colleagues in the BJP, Congress, Panthers Party, CPI(M), BSP and other parties that let us come together, leaving aside our differences, and make a joint request for restoration of statehood,” Rana said.

Asked about the government allowing an unofficial delegation of members of European Parliament to visit to the state, Rana said: “We do not know whether their visit is going to do any good to anybody, least the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Jammu and Kashmir was placed under a lockdown after India abrogated its special status on August 5. While several restrictions have now been removed, political leaders like National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti continue to be in detention. Though mobile phone services have been partially restored, internet services are still blocked in Kashmir.

Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir is ‘shameful’: CPI(M)

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday termed Centre’s decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir as “shameful”, PTI reported.

“The CPI(M) reiterates its strong opposition to the abrogation of Sec 370 as well as the division and reduced status of the State of Jammu & Kashmir,” the polit bureau of the party said in a press statement. “It is a shameful day for India’s democracy that a state should be divided and deprived of its status as a full-fledged state without any reference to the opinion of the people of the state or its state Assembly.”

The party pointed that no political activity is allowed in the state and alleged that voice of Kashmiri people has been forcefully suppressed. “This is in blatant violation of Article 3 of the Constitution of India and there is nothing to celebrate on this day for those who uphold Constitutional values including the federal structure of the country,” the statement said.

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