Article 370 not going anywhere, PDP relieved

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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Mar 28: Assertion of the Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir that Government of India has no plan to scrap Article 370, which guarantees special status to J&K, is a shot in the arm of ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
Soon after Ahir informed the Parliament that GoI has no intention to abrogate the Article 370, chief spokesman of PDP Rafi Mir welcomed his statement and termed it as the vindication of PDP’s stand.
However, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that on one hand Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conspires against Article 370 and 35 A in the Supreme Court through constituents of wider Sangh Parivar, on the other hand party claims that there is no proposal to scrap the Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “By getting constituents of the wider Sangh Parivar to file petitions in court the Govt can make these assertions while the BJP conspires against Art 370 & 35A in the Supreme Court,” Omar wrote on twitter.
An analyst said, “There is no doubt about the fact that PDP has prevailed over BJP vis-à-vis Article 370 and Article 35-A and has ensured that these burning issues are not fiddled with. The groups which have challenged the Article 35-A in the Supreme Court do enjoy the backing of RSS but the fact is that these groups are not a part of the government.”
He said, “Since the day Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Apex Court has not heard the petitions against the Article 35-A. It means that somewhere there is even consensus in New Delhi that for time being controversial issues should not be touched.”
A senior BJP leader wishing no to be named said that today or tomorrow Article 370 has to be abrogated to pave the way for complete merger of Jammu and Kashmir with the country. “At present we don’t want to fiddle with it as our first priority is to end militancy. The Article 370 is responsible for keeping the settled issue of Jammu and Kashmir alive. It encourages the separatists and external forces to interfere in the internal matters of India and challenge the integrity of the country,” he said.
A Kashmir watcher said, “As the parliamentary elections are coming near Article 370 and Article 35-A would keep on hogging the headlines as BJP cannot afford to abandon its ideology. Since the day BJP has come into existence it has maintained that Article 370 has to go. For time being they want to avoid any controversy as they want the PDP-BJP coalition to continue in J&K.”