BJP opposes PDP decision to send ministers to Delhi to protect Article 35A

The BJP has opposed the decision of its coalition partner Peoples Democratic Party to send its four Cabinet ministers to the Capital for mobilising legal and political support for Article 35A. The party has made it clear that the state government has nothing to do with the visit amid the nationwide debate on this provision of the Indian Constitution.
“No decision has been taken at the government level in this regard. Some ministers may be going to Delhi on their own as members of the PDP but not as representatives of the PDP-BJP coalition government,” said Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who belongs to BJP.
Nirmal made it clear that the BJP would not give its approval for any decision at the government level to mobilise support in favour of Article 35A, on which both partners have divergent views.
“It is ridiculous to mobilise support for a matter that is sub judice. It is clear in the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) that the coalition would not touch any contentious issue,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.
Sources said the PDP had decided to send four party ministers, namely Haseeb Drabu, Basharat Bukhari, Abdul Haq Khan and Choudhary Zulfikar, to Delhi to intensify the campaign for protecting Article 35A.
The state government has been considering hiring some prominent legal luminaries of the country to fight its case in the apex court, which is likely to refer the same to the Constitutional Bench.
Highly placed sources said the BJP was unlikely give its approval to the government to pay fees to lawyers from the state’s coffers to protect Article 35-A, because its abrogation is on the party’s agenda. “We have already told our representatives in the coalition that the government should not pay fees to the lawyers from the state exchequer in this case,” a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.