Article 35A: Farooq Abdullah threatens to boycott assembly, Lok Sabha pollshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/article-35a-farooq-abdullah-threatens-to-boycott-assembly-lok-sabha-polls-5346839/

Article 35A: Farooq Abdullah threatens to boycott assembly, Lok Sabha polls

The National Conference has already announced its decision to boycott the municipal and panchayat polls

Article 35A: Farooq Abdullah threatens to boycott assembly, Lok Sabha polls
Farooq Abdullah pays tribute to his father on his death anniversary, in Srinagar on Saturday. PTI

FORMER CHIEF Minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Saturday that if the separate Constitution for Jammu and Kashmir is an aberration, then the state’s “accession to India is also an aberration”. He also warned that his party would boycott elections to the state assembly and Lok Sabha if the Centre does not clear its stand on Article 35A.

“Their National Security Advisor, Doval Sahib, has stabbed Kashmir once again. He has said that the separate Constitution for Jammu and Kashmir is an aberration, it should not have happened,” said Abdullah, addressing people on the death anniversary of his father, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. “Sitting in this mausoleum, I want to tell Doval Sahib and the government that if this Constitution is an aberration, then the accession (of Jammu and Kashmir to India) is also an aberration”.

Earlier this week, NSA Ajit Doval had said that a separate Constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration”, as he stressed that sovereignty “cannot be diluted and ill-defined”.

Read | Won’t take part in J-K local polls till Centre clarifies position on Article 35 A: National Conference

Speaking at the launch of a book on Vallabhbhai Patel, Doval had said: “His contribution is not about the merger of the states, it is only a means to an end. The thing was that to make a sovereign state in which there was the sovereignty of the people established in the Constitution, which is applicable to the whole of it. Probably with Jammu and Kashmir, where the Constitution was… in a truncated form… another Constitution of J&K continued to exist, which is (an) aberration,” he said.

Advertising

Doval’s remarks come at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

While the National Conference has already announced its decision to boycott the municipal and panchayat polls, Abdullah warned on Saturday that his party would stay away from the state assembly and general elections also if the Centre did not clear its stand on Article 35A.

Also read | SC defers hearing on Article 35A to January 2019, shutdown in Kashmir

“On one hand, you are asking us to participate in the elections. And on the other hand, you want to abrogate Article 35A, want to slowly scrap Article 370 and want to attack our Constitution as well,” he said. “If that is your path, then our path is separate. We won’t participate in the elections, not just these elections, but also the Parliament and assembly elections. Go get whoever you want to get.”

He clarified that his party was not shying away from fighting elections, but there should be some clarity on Article 35A. “We don’t run away from elections but first do justice to us,” he said. “When you do justice to us, we will also move forward”.

Abdullah said his party leaders from Jammu as well as Kashmir told him that the National Conference shouldn’t take part in the panchayat polls. “They said it in one voice,” he said. “They said we should not participate in elections, till the decision (on Article 35A) doesn’t come”.

Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “Hitler like”, Abdullah said no planning had gone into the municipal and panchayat polls. “They (government) should have first talked to us. They should have called all the (political) leaders, told us what they want to do and sought our suggestions,” he said. “The Prime Minister announced, the way Hitler did, from Red Fort on August 15, that they would conduct elections here”.

Download the Indian Express apps for iPhone, iPad or Android