New Delhi: After a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that he has given an assurance that there will be no compromise on the agenda of the PDP-BJP alliance on Articles 370 and 35 A of the Constitution that give a special status to the state.
“The basis of agenda of our alliance is that status quo on Article 370 (Special Status) is to be maintained and none of us will go against it. Discussions on Article 35 A (special rights for permanent residents) have a negative impact on Jammu and Kashmir. It should not happen. The Prime Minister has has given 100 percent assurance on the agenda of alliance,” she told reporters after the meeting.
Mufti’s comments came amid the raging debate over revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A that accords Special Status to Jammu and Kashmir, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The article, added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, accords special rights and privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and empowers its legislature to frame any law without attracting a legal challenge.
The provision prohibits all Indians – except people from Jammu and Kashmir – from purchasing immovable property in the state, getting government jobs and availing state-sponsored scholarship schemes.
The article has been challenged by a Delhi-based NGO, ‘We the Citizens’, in the apex court where the central government had said last month that there was need for a “larger debate” on the issue of declaring the article unconstitutional. The NGO contended that the President could not have amended the Constitution by the 1954 order and it was supposed to be a temporary provision.
On Thursday, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister also met Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue. Replying to a question on the situation in the state, Mufti said, “The situation is normalizing but people there think that our identity can be in danger. So message that Jammu and Kashmir is the crown of India should be reiterated.”