Omar Abdullah vents fury, says Narendra Modi's BJP govt cannot abrogate Article 370

Written by PTI | Srinagar | Updated: May 28 2014, 22:56pm hrs
Contending that it was impossible for Narendra Modi's BJP government to abrogate Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said confusion was being deliberately created on the issue which would further alienate the people of the state.

"They (BJP government at the Centre) cannot abrogate Article 370 till the Constituent Assembly is recalled. The Constituent Assembly approved accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. If you want to raise the question once again, then you need to bring the Constituent Assembly and then we will talk," Omar told reports here.

The chief minister was speaking as the row over the remarks of Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh's that efforts will be made to "convince" the "unconvinced" on abrogation of Article 37 continued to rage.

Omar said the Centre should strengthen its relationship with the state, but such a move will further alienate the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"You want to strengthen the State-Centre relationship but this is not the way. This will further widen the gap between the people of the state and the rest of the country which you will understand very soon. I can understand the political compulsion of the BJP, but first focus on other promises. The first attack is on Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

The chief minister said confusion was deliberately created among the people in the country over Article 370 and the state subject laws in the state.

"Confusion is being created deliberately over state subject law and the Article 370 of the Constitution. The Article 370 has nothing to do with the purchase of property here.

"Before the Article 370, the state subject laws were enforced in the state by the Maharaja to save the people of Jammu who were apprehensive that rich Punjabis will come and buy their land.

"If you see today, God forbid, if you play with our state subject laws, then even in such a situation nobody will come to Kashmir. If the land is purchased or anything of the kind happens, it will be happen in Jammu region," he said.

Omar dismissed the assertion that the state subject laws were a hindrance in the development of the state.

"The state subject laws protect our people. How are they a hindrance in the development of the state If the state lacked in development it was because of the prevailing situation. Before (the eruption of militancy in) 1989, nobody complained of such a thing. Factories were being set up everywhere but nobody questioned the state subject laws.

"This is not the only state in the country where this law is in force. There are other states where such laws are prevalent but nobody talks about them," he said.

The chief minister took a jibe at Singh, saying the new minister should have "controlled his emotions" on taking over his responsibilities in the PMO.

"I think the honourable minister became emotional as perhaps he was not expecting such a position for himself and work in the PMO. He should have controlled his emotions but very soon he came to know the reality and he had to retract his statement. But till then the damage had been done," Omar said.

He said the minister had stated that talks with stakeholders had started and sought to know who the stakeholders were.

"I want to know with whom they have started talking. You said you are talking to stakeholders. I am one of the stakeholders by being the chief minister of the state. I am an elected representative of the people. Nobody from my party talked to you. I have not heard from any political party that talks had been held with them. Then which stakeholder you have talked to" Omar questioned.

The chief minister challenged the BJP-led NDA government to go ahead with the abrogation of the Article 370, but refused to divulge as to how his party National Conference will respond.

"We will not divulge everything to you. But let them do it, then see," Omar said.