NC starts campaign against revocation of Article 35A
Jammu: Opposition National Conference on Monday kick-started an awareness campaign against revocation of Article 35A of the Constitution with its working president Omar Abdullah asking party functionaries here to mobilise public support to defend the state subject laws.
"The NC will not give permission to tinker with the constitutional provisions giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir... the rulers, whether in Srinagar or Delhi, should understand that we will not compromise on the big and serious issue which is related to our survival," he said at a seminar at the party headquarters here.
The one-day seminar, attended by over 500 senior party leaders and activists, was organised to kick-start a campaign to make people aware about Article 35A of the constitution and its impact if the provision was removed.
"Now it is your (party leaders and workers) duty to reach out to the people and make them understand what are the benefits of Article 35A and how its revocation will prove a death knell to their culture, language and identity," Abdullah said.
Accusing the BJP of misleading the people he told the NC leaders and workers to counter it with "truth".
"Understand Article 35A properly, the threat its revocation poses to the state especially to Jammu and make people aware of the benefits," the NC working president said.
At the seminar, when a person said he was ready to shed his blood to safeguard the special status of the state guaranteed by the constitution, Abdullah said, "The National Conference will never support bloodshed. Neither should you shed your blood nor the blood of anyone else." "It is a battle of ideas and we will use the reality and truth to defeat the lies of the opponents," he said.
Abdullah, who was also scheduled to inaugurate a party convention in Srinagar, said it was not possible to go to Ladakh to launch the Article 35A protection programme from there but the campaign will reach Ladakh as well.
He said the 90-year-old law, introduced by Maharaja Hari Singh to keep the identity of Jammu and Kashmir intact, gives its people exclusive right over land, jobs in government departments, scholarship to students, special aid and relief.
"The BJP, during its election campaign, spoke about revocation of Article 370 and about opening the borders of the state to the people from outside. After coming to power, they realised that they cannot do it through Parliament or Assembly, therefore they are using judiciary," he said. "But, they hid behind a mask and are using NGOs to challenge the presidential order in the Supreme Court. Twice before, the apex court had rejected such PILs," Abdullah said.
"The constitutional provision gives special rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. You cannot buy land in Himachal... in Lakshadweep and northeastern states Manipur, Mizoram. But why is the BJP is not able to swallow this thing that the people outside the state cannot buy land in the state," Abdullah said.
He alleged that the BJP was trying to "sell the issue as Kashmir versus Jammu" and said Jammu and Ladakh would face the major burnt if Article 35A is revoked.
"If somebody wants to buy land will he do it in Kashmir or Jammu. Residents of Kashmir nowadays do not consider themselves safe in their land and look for avenues to send their children outside the state for studies," Abdullah said.