Can’t believe CM, PM’s word counts on special status: Omar Abdullah

National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on Friday dismissed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given an assurance over securing Article 35A, which guarantees the state special status.
Omar in a series of tweets described Mehbooba’s claim as “immaterial” and said “we no longer believe” what the Chief Minister says. “Excuse us if we no longer believe what Mehbooba Mufti says after she comes out from these meetings,” Omar said while commenting on the meeting between Mehbooba and the Prime Minister where she had sought help against the attempts made to alter the constitutional provisions that give special status to the state.
Mehbooba had subsequently said that she had been assured by the Prime Minister that Article 370, which ensures special status to the state and is guaranteed by Article 35A, would be respected. A New Delhi-based NGO ‘We the Citizens’ filed a petition seeking repeal of Article 35A before the Supreme Court in 2014. The state government had earlier this year filed its response and sought dismissal of the petition. The Central government, however, did not file any affidavit opposing the writ petition.
The Article 35A – incorporated in the Indian Constitution in 1954 – grants special privileges and rights to the permanent residents of J&K and debars non-residents from buying land or property, getting government jobs, or voting in Assembly elections in the state. Mehbooba is attempting to mediate between New Delhi, where she is camping since yesterday, and the political parties in Kashmir which have upped the ante against any attempt to abrogate the article.
“If ever assurance that Mehbooba Mufti claimed to have received had been fulfilled, J&K would have been largely trouble-free today,” Omar said.