Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said separatist leaders have no business talking about Article 35A as they do not believe in the Constitution of India. The National Conference working president told reporters here that abrogation of Article 35A would not only adversely impact the Kashmir Valley but Jammu and Ladakh regions as well.
“People will lose jobs and scholarships not only in the valley but also in Jammu and Ladakh. “If the article is tampered with, you might find that nobody knows your language in the offices you visit as outsiders will take those jobs,” he said.
The National Conference leader said it was a myth that investments were not coming into the state because of Article 370 and the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. “We are a small state situated on the northern-most end of the country. It is difficult for a producer in Jammu and Kashmir to sell his products in Chennai. The fact is investments are not coming because of the situation and not because of Article 35A,” he argued.
Asked why he opposed the idea of “one India and one country” by asserting the separate status of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said: “We have acceded to the Union of India on four subjects of currency, communication, defence and foreign affairs. “Saying this does not mean we are opposing the idea of one India and one country.”
He said the propaganda that women who marry outside the state face serious bias because of the article as they lose property rights was wrong. After the Supreme Court decided in favour of women owning property in Jammu and Kashmir after taking a spouse from outside, the matter had been settled, he said. “My sisters who are married outside the state own property in Kashmir as much as I do,” he said.