Amid reports of the alleged abolition of Article 35 (A) of the Constitution, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah urged that this would lead to the end of state subject laws in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Provisions which are stated under article 35 (A) were initiated by Raja Hari Singh. If this is scrapped by the Supreme Court, it will end state subject laws. People from other states will gain access to buy property in the region, avail educational scholarships for their children, relief material and bag government jobs; the four main things that Raja Hari Singh protected us from," said Abdullah, while addressing a gathering here.
Alleging conspiracy by the ruling BJP-PDP coalition, Abdullah claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has constantly batted for the removal of Article 35 (A), and has attempted to suppress any opposition arising against the same.
"The BJP has been on our case ever since we spoke of Article 35 (A). We have never encouraged bloodshed, but we refuse to fall prey to their conspiracy. Nobody should be carried away in their propaganda," he said.
"Surprisingly, the BJP made an issue of 35A as a case of Jammu versus Kashmir. They say it will benefit Kashmir but adversely affect Jammu. Nobody is going to benefit from the removal of 35 (A)," added Abdullah.
Coming down heavily on the saffron party over the proposed removal of Article 370 of the Constitution, Omar alleged that although the former supported the removal of this provision, it was a veiled attempt, supported by an affidavit that lacked depth and detail.
"The BJP said it would scrap Article 370 but realised it isn't possible through Parliament. Therefore, they approached the Court and asked others to fight the case on their behalf," said Omar.
Further, addressing a press conference after the speech, he opined that the Hurriyat, which does not believe in the Constitution of India has no business to comment on 35A.
For the unversed, Article 35A of the Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define the state's permanent residents and their privileges.
Article 35A was inserted into the Constitution of India through a presidential order in 1954, to guarantee that the maharaja's ban on outsiders would remain. It actually makes little difference in practical terms, for domicile rights apply in other states too.
Meanwhile, Article 370 of the Indian constitution grants special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.