35-A: Idea of India has to accommodate idea of JK, Mehbooba tells Modi

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid the row over Article 35-A which allows the state legislature to define the permanent residents.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mehbooba said that the basis of “our agenda of alliance is that status quo of 370 has to maintained and none of us can go against that.”

“Idea of India has to accommodate idea of Jammu & Kashmir,” she said.

On Thursday, Mufti met Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi to build a consensus against scrapping of the constitutional provision that grants special rights and privileges to state’s “permanent residents.”
The Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition seeking scrapping of Article 35A, has referred the matter to a three-judge bench last month and set a six-week deadline for its final disposal.

While the state government has sought dismissal of the petition filed by an non-governmental organisation allegedly backed by right-wing bodies, the government of India on last hearing of the case in July this year decided not to support the state’s stand and instead asserted that the issue needs a “larger debate.”

On August 7, Mufti called on National Conference president Farooq Abdullah at his residence here to discuss the protection of Article 35-A.

She subsequently met leaders of all state political parties the next day who had suggested her to take an all-party delegation to Prime Minister and leaders of other political parties in New Delhi for apprising her about the ramifications of tinkering with Article 35-A.

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