Article 370 should remain intact, PM Narendra Modi can create history by changing narrative on J&K: Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has reiterated that Article 370, that grants special autonomous status to the state, should remain intact.

In a series of tweets, Mehbooba Mufti demanded for autonomy and self-rule in the Valley, saying “Democracy is a battle of ideas and dialogue is the only way forward. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an unprecedented mandate and can create history by changing the narrative on Jammu and Kashmir”.

“The country should take advantage of Jammu and Kashmir`s geostrategic location and revive its traditional routes to foster greater economic activity. Article 370 is the nation`s commitment to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and therefore should be honoured,” the J&K CM’s another tweet said.

The PDP leader’s statements come at a time when some state BJP leaders have demanded removal of Article 370.

J&K BJP spokesperson professor Virender Gupta had recently said Article 370 is responsible for keeping the settled issue of J&K alive and encourages the separatists and external forces to interfere in the internal matters of India.

“The time has come when the people of Jammu and Kashmir should say goodbye to Article 370 and ask the Government of India to revoke Article 35 A,” he had said.

Article 370 grants special status to J&K, while Article 35 A, added to the Indian Constitution through a presidential order, empowers the J&K legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges.

The BJP is a part of the ruling alliance in J&K where it has partnered the PDP.

Article 35 A has come under focus after two Kashmiri women approached the Supreme Court and challenged it. They contended that it had disenfranchised their children.

The Supreme Court on October 30 deferred the hearing on challenge to the Constitution’s Article 35A granting special rights to natives of Jammu and Kashmir as the Central government told the court that it may have implications for the dialogue being held by its interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma to find solution to the state’s troubled situation.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud adjourned the matter for eight weeks as Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the Centre’s special representative was holding dialogue with different stakeholders to find some solution and if hearing on the challenge to Article 35A takes place, then it will have some effect.

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