In such an eventuality, the people of the country’s only Muslim-majority state would be forced to think whether they want to remain with India or not, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said.
Kashmir, India, Saturday, March 30, 2019 —
Article 370 of the Constitution is a bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and India and if it goes, people in the state will be forced to think if they want to be with New Delhi or not, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday.
Addressing activists of her Peoples Democratic Party, she said if Article 370 was scrapped, new conditions would have to be worked out between Jammu and Kashmir and India.
J&K Ex-CM calls Kashmir India’s Only Muslim-Majority State
In such an eventuality, the people of the country’s only Muslim-majority state would be forced to think whether they want to remain with India or not, she said.
“If you break that bridge (Article 370), then you will have to renegotiate the relationship between India and Jammu and Kashmir.”
Mehbooba Mufti’s statement came in response to a comment made by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley that Article 35A was constitutionally vulnerable and an impediment to the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir.
Arun Jaitley’s Remarks On Article 370
In a blog post titled “The Rule of Law and the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, Jaitley said many today raise doubts about the “Nehruvian course” and look at it as a “historical blunder”. “Does our policy today have to be guided by that erroneous vision or an out of box thinking which is in consonance with ground reality?” he asked. Jaitley said the seven-decade history of the state now confronts changing India with several questions.
Jaitley called Article 35A a “surreptitious executive insertion in the Constitution”. He said it was neither a part of the original Constitution nor was it an amendment that needs to be approved by two-thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament.
Article 370 A Discrimination Between Citizens – Jaitley
He said the article gives the right to the state government to discriminate between citizens. “Lakhs of Indian citizens in J&K vote in Lok Sabha elections but not in Assembly, municipal or panchayat polls,” he said. “Their children cannot get government jobs. They cannot own property and their children cannot get admitted to governmental institutions. The same applies to those who live elsewhere in the country. The heirs of ladies marrying outside the state are disinherited from owning or inheriting property.”
The finance minister said the article also stopped the state from raising resources. “No investor is willing to set up an industry, hotel, private educational institutions or private hospitals since he can neither buy land or property nor can his executives do so,” he said. He added that the present government has decided that the rule of law in the interest of the people of Kashmir valley and the larger interest of India must equally apply to Jammu & Kashmir.
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(Inputs from Scroll)