Will BJP soften its stand vis-à-vis abrogation of Article 370?

Will BJP soften its stand vis-à-vis abrogation of Article 370?
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Apr 5: Supreme Court observing that Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is not a temporary provision is a setback for the people who are seeking the abrogation of this vital Article.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Supreme Court’s observation has come as a relief for the Kashmir centric parties. It’s an indication that Article 35-A won’t be fiddled with and the people who are challenging it may have to eat a humble pie.”
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the Supreme Court’s observation. “The observation regarding its (Article 370) permanent status is a welcome assurance to our people,” she said in a tweet.
She said Article 370 not only safeguards the territorial integrity of Jammu and Kashmir, but also “plays a bigger role” in preserving the religious, cultural and linguistic integrity of the state.
On the other hand BJP leaders have maintained silence over the Apex Court’s observation. “Abrogating Article 370 has been BJP’s poll plank since its inception. As its hardliners are criticizing the BJP for compromising with its ideology. Many BJP leaders in the recent past have hardened their stands vis-à-vis Article 370. They know that parliamentary elections are approaching and if the compromise on Article 370 they would have nothing to sell,” said an analyst.
He said, “In coming days we can expect many more statements from the BJP leaders over this issue. As BJP cannot give up its hard line if it has to win the parliamentary elections again.”
A BJP leader, who wished not to be named said, “We cannot challenge the observation made by the Apex Court but BJP led NDA government has got the numbers. The Parliament has the power to abrogate the Article 370. Till we are in alliance with the PDP in J&K we won’t touch it.”
A Kashmir watcher said, “BJP during the past few years has emerged as the biggest player in the arena of Indian politics. Surprisingly, its many people in the country believe the hardline approach of the party only can pull India out of trouble. The party is still counting on it and there is every possibility that BJP would fight the forthcoming polls on the basis of the hard line adopted by it.”
He said that may be demonetization, implementing GST and fuel prices sky-rocketing could have an impact but there is no possibility about the saffron party compromising on the agendas which have made it grow. “Indian politics has changed drastically during the past decade or so. We cannot expect BJP to change its stand on Article 370 just for remaining in power in Jammu and Kashmir,” the Kashmir watcher added.