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‘JK’s special status under threat’

Srinagar, Mar 29: National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah Friday claimed that Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was under threat.

While addressing a press conference here, Omar said that efforts were being made to attack the special status of the state.

He said that National Conference has been repeatedly saying that Jammu Kashmir’s identify and special position was under “threat”

“Our special position is not under threat today but for last five years since the BJP came to the power. We don’t need to provide any evidence as Finance Minister has made it clear BJP’s intentions,” he said.

He was reacting to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who claimed that Article 35A, which restricts non-permanent residents to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, was “constitutionally vulnerable and also hampering economic development of the state”.

He claimed that “Gun and militancy are responsible for damaging economy in Kashmir not Article 35A or Article 370.”

“Article 35A and 370 was before 1990. There was growth of industries and well-known companies would set up their offices and there was a chain of hotels. But after 1990 everything has changed,” the former chief minister said.

He also claimed that neighboring country was responsible for growth of militancy. “Then the way New Delhi has treated the state and even used Raj Bhawan to change democratic decisions and also people here,” he said.

He also blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to bring peace to the Valley. “Even BJP Governor has called economic boycott with Kashmir. Why was Jaitley sahab silent on that,” Omar said.

He said that JK is not only state, which has special position in India under the constitution.

He said there were various states like Himachal Pradesh, Andoman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadeep, which enjoy special status under the constitution.

“But attack is only on special status of JK and mislead people that it is hampering the development in the state. All regions of the state areequally benefited by it. Article 35A and Article 370 are not only for Muslims,” he said.

The National Conference leader said that JK has accessed to India that the later has control only on currency, communication, defence, and foreign affairs. “If New Delhi wants to debate on special status of the state then questions will also raise on the instrument of accession. BJP leadership has to think over it,” he said.

He said that response related to Article 35A was pending with the Law Department and was not submitted to Supreme Court.

“We have a strong case to defend it,” he said, adding that people should not vote for “proxies” of the BJP.

He also claimed that Narendra Modi was using Pakistan as a “poll-plank” in elections.


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