Omar Abdullah after he was released
Omar Abdullah after he was released
Photo: Omar Abdullah/Twitter

On August 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) fulfilled its poll promise and abrogated Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu & Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – J&K (with legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).

To mark the first anniversary of this abrogation, the saffron party is planning to hold mega celebrations. Reportedly, BJP is scheduling rallies in 35 big towns and 370 tier 1 and 2 cities. BJP general secretary Ashok Kaul said that celebrations will be held from August 5 to August 15. “Kashmir is peaceful today and credit goes to last year’s historic decision. On the development front, Covid-19 played a spoilsport. The way development should have taken place it hasn’t,” the BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that he won't be contesting the Assembly elections while J&K remains a Union Territory. In an article in the Indian Express, the National Conference leader said, "I am very clear that while J&K remains a Union Territory I will not be contesting any Assembly elections. Having been a member of the most empowered Assembly in the land and that, too, as the leader of that Assembly for six years, I simply cannot and will not be a member of a House that has been disempowered the way ours has."

"With almost all of my senior colleagues still detained in their homes, the NC is yet to meet to decide its next political course of action and I will work diligently to strengthen the party, carry forward its agenda and continue to represent the aspirations of the people while we fight against the injustices heaped on J&K in the last one year," he added.

Abdullah said that abrogation of Article 370 was not a surprise as it was BJP's poll agenda for decades, "What came as a shock was the humiliation heaped on the state by downgrading it and splitting it into two Union Territories. Over the last seven decades, Union Territories have been upgraded to states but this was the first time a state was downgraded to a Union Territory," he said.

Earlier, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav asserted that a legislative assembly for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir would be formed “very soon”.

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Free Press Journal