In an escalating war of words, the BJP today hit out at the National Conference for calling itself the “voice of Dogras” of Jammu, saying NC been totally rejected by the people of the region, and it does not represent the ethos of the area. “NC been rejected totally by the people of Jammu region, and it does not represent the ethos of the region. A clear evidence of this is the way the party was decimated in the previous elections of the state legislative assembly,” state BJP spokesman Arun Kumar Gupta said here. NC provincial chief Devender Rana had yesterday said that as representative of the Dogra people of Jammu, there should be a referendum among people of Jammu on Article 35A. Taking a dig at Rana, Gupta said “the tally of the NC has reached an all-time low and it is odd to claim that it represents Jammu”. “The claims made by NC regional chief Devinder Rana on Article 35A are not true as the Jammu region does not support this provision at all. Rana’s claims with regard to this provision are totally misleading and spurious,” Gupta said. In fact, the NC is afraid of this issue coming under scrutiny now and wants to shut debate among people, he added.
The BJP leader said “the issue is pending its disposal in the Supreme Court whether Article 35-A needs to be scrapped from the Constitution. That is the issue to be decided in the highest court of the land and will be properly scrutinised, he pointed out. When an issue of such great sensitivity is in the court, to claim that Jammu supports this provision is misleading and false, he said. The claims of support for Article 35-A in the Jammu region are totally misplaced and the NC should observe the legal nicety of desisting from commenting on an issue with the Supreme Court, he added.
“In fact, commenting on any issue before the courts and seeking to raise passions is flawed and not proper. The process of a matter being sub-judice needs to be understood and respected,” he said. Gupta said “the BJP’s stance on Article 370 as also Article 35-A is very well known among people, and does not need to be reiterated here. Rana claims that scrapping Article 35-A will render Article 370 hollow but a decision regarding it can come only from the apex court”. “A political party voicing apprehensions about it are out of place,” he said.