Kashmir heats up Delhi durbar

 While J&K CM Omar Abdullah continued to go hammer and tongs against ‘the move to repeal’ the act, he was joined in the chorus by Leader of Opposition in state assembly, Mehbooba Mufti.

On the other hand, support for Singh, who retracted a part of his statement on Tuesday evening, came from the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). Reacting to Omar’s remarks that either J&K won’t be part of India or Article 370 that grants special status to the state will exist, senior RSS leader Ram Madhav said the state will always be an integral part of India with or without the provision.

Madhav also asked whether the chief minister thought the state was his ‘parental estate’. ‘J&K won’t be part of India? Is Omar thinking it’s his parental estate? 370 or no 370 J&K has been n will always be an integral part of India,’ Madhav said on Twitter.

Stepping up attack on Singh, Abdullah said on Wednesday that damage has already been done. ‘He (Jitendra Singh) had already done the damage before he withdrew his statement. Have they spoken to stakeholders I would like to know? I and my party are stakeholders. Nobody spoke to us.’

‘You can’t repeal Article 370 until the constituent assembly is not constituted all over again,’ added Abdullah. Observing that any move to abrogate Article 370 will be extremely dangerous, Omar said if BJP decides to recall the constitutional facility it would reopen the debate on the state’s accession to India.

He said the only way to revoke Article 370 is on the back of the body called constituent assembly. This is the body that ratified the relationship of J&K with India, he said, adding, ‘if you were to recall the Constituent Assembly, you would be reopening the debate on Instrument of Accession.’

‘If the BJP wants to do that and call the Constituent Assembly, let them do that,’ he said. The controversy had started when Jitendra Singh after acquiring office had said, ‘If we do not have debate and discussion, how would you be able to tell those who have been unable to understand what they have been deprived of on account of Article 370?’

BJP had raised the issue of Article 370 during the election campaign with Narendra Modi during his rally at Jammu saying, ‘The need of the hour is to have a debate on Article 370; whether or not it had helped the people of the state.’ 

Meanwhile, union minister for transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday joined the row over Article 370 saying that the development of Jammu & Kashmir got blocked due to the Constitutional provision that bestows special status on the state.
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