The National Conference and the PDP said Friday that they were mulling moving court against the Centre’s decision to extend the 77th and 103rd Amendments of the Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir in the absence of an elected government in the state.
The reactions come after the Union government on Thursday gave its nod to the promulgation of an ordinance for giving reservation benefits to SCs and STs in Jammu and Kashmir by amending a clause of the contentious Article 370, which gives special status to the state.
“It will serve the purpose of application of relevant provisions of the Constitution of India, as amended through the Constitution (77th Amendment) Act, 1995 and Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 for Jammu and Kashmir, by issuing the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019 by the President under clause (1) of Article 370,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said.
In a series of tweets, NC leader Omar Abdullah said, “Article 370 makes concurrence of Government of Jammu and Kashmir a condition precedent for extension of a Constitutional provision not falling under three subjects.”
Omar said his party will consult eminent lawyers to explore how the decision can be challenged in the court of law.
“The Government means an elected government. President cannot seek concurrence of Governor who is a representative or agent of President. Same will apply even where only consent is required,” he tweeted.
“It is for this reason that @JKNC_ will consult eminent lawyers tomorrow (Friday) to see how best we can challenge this blatantly unconstitutional order in court,” he added.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the Centre using the Governor’s office for extending the amendments to Jammu and Kashmir seemed to be a “sinister” move aimed at “disempowering” the state.
“Ostensibly, using the Governor’s office seems to be a sinister move to further disempower the state. This will not be tolerated & the entire state will fight against this criminal and illegal move of GoI,” she said in a tweet.
She questioned the intentions of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre asking why people of Kashmir were being pushed to the wall?
“Why is GoI adamant on adding fuel to the fire and letting the situation slip out of control? Why push Kashmiris to the wall? PDP is willing to work with like minded parties and people of the state to fight this battle tooth and nail in the courts,” Mufti said in another tweet.
The official twitter handle of the PDP said the Union cabinet’s decision was in “contravention” of the spirit of Indian Constitution’s Article 370.
“Governor administration, which by design is interim arrangement, is stretching it’s mandate a bit too far. The concurrence of an elected, not nominated, government is a must for any amendment to the 1954 presidential order and thereby is in contravention to the spirit Art 370,” the party said.