National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on Friday sought a special session of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature before August 29 to frame an appropriate response to counter the narrative on Article 35A of the Constitution. The issue is of vital importance for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as abrogation of Article 35A will have serious ramifications, Omar said in a statement issued by the National Conference in Srinagar.
The former chief minister expressed grave concern over the reported “unsatisfactory response” of the central and state governments in putting up a strong case before the Supreme Court, hearing a plea against the constitutional provision empowering the state to determine the issues with regard to permanent residence. The observation of the Centre’s attorney that the issue needs wider discussions has created apprehension in the public mind about intentions of the BJP-led NDA government, he added.
In such a situation, the state legislature will have to take a call on this fundamental issue, especially as the Constitution empowers the Legislative Assembly to determine the issues with regard to permanent residence, Omar said. He appreciated general consensus across the state, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or region, with regard to preserving of this significant constitutional guarantee bestowed upon Jammu and Kashmir by the Constitution of India.
Omar hoped that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would rise above party politics and fight every “overt or covert attempts to trample with Article 35A”, which is regional neutral, religious neutral and ethnic neutral. He said abrogation of Article 35A would be detrimental to every segment of society in Jammu and Kashmir.