Senior National Conference leader and MLA Javed Rana today stoked a controversy when he said that India’s flag won’t be unfurled in Jammu and Kashmir if the BJP government decides to do away with Article 370 that gives autonomous status to the militancy-hit state. A video that has been doing the rounds on the internet, shows the Mendhar MLA addressing a huge crowd where he can be heard saying that the tricolour will have no presence in the Valley if the government tinkers with Articles 35A and 370. Rana said that the Articles are a bridge between the state and the country and any attempt to break it will be ‘disastrous’.
“Through the media, I want to request our Prime Minister that if they scrap Articles 35A or Article 370 then India’s flag won’t be unfurled here. I want to say that if they tinker with Article 370 or if they try to modify Article 370 then India’s flag will have no presence here,” he said.
“It is only because of Article 370 that we are connected to this country. If they scrap Article 370, our relation automatically ends,” he added.
Articles 370 has been a matter of debate for long. While the BJP has on many occasion favoured scrapping the Article which was added to the Constitution by a Presidential order in 1954, the state parties have warned the government against such move.
Meanwhile, firebrand BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has said Article 35A and Article 370 are temporary laws that can be removed from the Constitution without voting in the Parliament.
“He (Farooq Abdullah) is nobody to say that at all. These are all temporary laws. It is there in the Constitution. Article 370, for example, is stated to be a temporary provision which can be removed without a vote from the parliament. So he can go on saying and look foolish when it is removed. Also, he can’t do anything and he has no support from the public,” ANI quoted him as saying.
The BJP leader’s remark comes in the backdrop of National Conference leader and former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah’s remark that any attempt to thwart the special status to Jammu and Kashmir will not succeed.
Earlier this week, MoS for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir had told the Lok Sabha that there is no proposal before the government to scrap Article 370. “There is currently no such proposal under consideration of the government,” he had said while responding to a written question in the Lok Sabha.
Article 370 accords special rights and privileges to Jammu and Kashmir citizens. It also empowers the state legislative assembly to frame any law without attracting a legal challenge.