No PM can revoke J&K’s special status, says Omar

Dismissing a question on whether he was worried at the prospect of BJP’s Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister, Omar said, ‘it does not matter whether he is the Prime Minister or the President or (holds) any other position.

‘Constitutionally, he cannot revoke Article 370 without calling into question the accession of J&K to India. Now as prime minister of India, if he wants to rewrite accession to India, he is welcome to it. But I do not think any prime minister would be as foolhardy as that,’ he said.

Omar was answering questions during BBC’s ‘Hard Talk’ programme during which he more then held his ground in the face of tough questioning by its anchor Stephen Sackur who focused on the insurgency, role of the armed forces and the State’s accession to India.

The chief minister was asked about Modi’s suggestion for a debate on Article 370 to which he had responded by offering to debate the BJP leader ‘at any time, any place’.

He said Modi had not responded to this himself but ‘one of his minions gave a statement that he is too busy to discuss Article 370 and, to make it worse, he is far too important to discuss it with somebody like you (Omar)’.

Sackur remarked that he would be ‘extraordinarily worried’ because Modi could be the next prime minister if opinion polls were to be believed because the BJP leader favours doing away with J&K’s special status. ‘I am not worried,’ Omar told him.

Cong downplays possibility of split with NC

New Delhi:
Ruling party of India, Congress on Wednesday downplayed reports of a possible split in its alliance with National Conference (NC) in Jammu and Kashmir even as NC president Farooq Abdullah said that his son and state chief minister Omar Abdullah would take the final decision on the ties between the two parties.

‘The alliance stands as of on Wednesday’ and it would not be proper to pre-judge the issue, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters in the backdrop of media speculation on the ruling alliance split over the issue of creation of new administrative units in the state which the Congress is stonewalling. Abdullah, a union minister, told journalists that Omar, who is said to be thinking of resigning over the issue, would take the final call on the alliance.
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