Staying away from controversies

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The Government of India has once again clarified that there is no proposal to abrogate Article 35-A and Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.

In reply to the question posed by Akali Dal MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa about the status of abolishing Article 35A and Article 370 from J&K Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said: “No proposal regarding abolition of Article 35A and Article 370 in respect of Jammu and Kashmir is at present under consideration of the Government.”

Jammu and Kashmir enjoys special status due to Article 370 and before coming into power BJP used to rake this issue and its abrogation to pave way for complete merger of J&K into union of India. However, it entered into a power sharing agreement with Peoples Democratic Party in J&K and assured it that controversial issues would be pushed on the backburner to avoid any confrontations in the state. In case of Section 35A, a writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court by an NGO seeking its abrogation. The PIL said the Jammu and Kashmir Government, under the guise of Articles 35A and 370, were discriminating against non-residents who are debarred from buying properties, getting a Government job or voting in the local elections.

The Apex Court is all set to hear the petition challenging the Article 35-A in January 2018 and its decision over the issue is still awaited.

The BJP led government making it clear that it has no proposal to abrogate the special status of J&K has come as a relief for the PDP in Kashmir as the party knows it very well that if Centre tries to fiddle with these articles it can snowball into a major controversy and can lead to situation taking an ugly turn in the Valley. It seems that PDP has convinced the BJP led government to put these issues on backburner and allow it to rule J&K without any hurdles.