Three National Conference leaders, including the party president Dr Farooq Abdullah, on Monday took oath as the members of the seventeenth Lok Sabha.
Dr Farooq is a veteran and he would be representing the state in the Lok Sabha for fourth term, while Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi are making their debuts as Parliamentarians.
During its election campaign NC leaders vowed to protect state’s special status and assured the people that they would ensure that the issues confronting the people of Kashmir would be raised in the Parliament. In fact the entire poll campaign of the NC revolved around protecting J&K’s identity.
Dr Farooq Abdullah is a strong orator and a veteran leader during his previous stints as Member Parliament he raised many issues which touched the skin of a common man in Jammu and Kashmir. This time around it’s going to be Litmus test for him as a Parliamentarian as he has to ensure that promises made by his party are kept.
Speculations are rife that the Article 35A may go and it could be followed by the scrapping of Article 370. The BJP has got the full majority in the Parliament and if it decides to scrap these Articles, which provide special status to Jammu and Kashmir, it can do it in one go. Time only will tell whether the NC Parliamentarians would be able to defend these Articles or they would be made to eat a humble pie.
Next five years could be tough for the NC Parliamentarians as everyone in the Lok Sabha would expect them to stay within their limits. No one would allow them to cross the line. Let’s hope that MPs from Kashmir make their presence felt in the Parliament and do raise the issues which touch the skin of Kashmiris.