Article 35A of Indian Constitution: Understanding the Debate

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 13, 2017

After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, CM Mehbooba Mufti also met the BJP's national general secretary Ram Madhav as "part of consensus building against any erosion of special status", as per the agenda of the alliance. The article was added to the constitution by a presidential order in 1954, it said.

Jammu and Kashmir: Separatists have a strike against the Article 35A, which defines the residence law in J&K which prevent out side people other than Kashmiris to buy any properties or apply for the jobs in Jammu and Kashmir state. Meanwhile, regional parties, including the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), pushed for a consensus against any revocation, while the BJP decried "deliberate fear psychosis". They told that Kashmir is a Muslim majority state and they have planned before the strike against the Article 35A. People of Jammu and Kashmir feel that their identity will be in danger.

Addressing media here, NC provincial president and Nagrota MLA Devender Singh Rana, a close confidant of party leader Omar Abdullah, equated the article with the holy cow that can not be touched.

Shops and other businesses and educational institutions remained closed and public transport stayed off the roads in Kashmir Valley and parts of Kishtwar and Doda districts of Jammu.

He said the defense of the attorney general and the state in the Supreme Court on the issue was "weak" to pave the way for abrogation of the constitutional provision. He said growing clamor that constitution of occupied Kashmir be declared as null and void is also a matter of great concern. The autonomy resolution passed by the J&K assembly in 2000, which asks for restoration of the 1953 position, also recommends that the word "temporary" be omitted so Article 370 becomes a permanent feature of the Constitution of India. "Constitution of India and Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir govern our living and existence but we have been vested with certain rights and we will protect those rights", he said. He added that what PM says on the issue, only matters.

The J&K CM, while addressing reporters following the meet, said preservation of the Articles 370 and 35A is essential to maintain the faith of Kashmiris in the Indian political system.

Ashwani Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir, a front organisation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits, said there was a need to get rid of the "stifling statute" (Article 370) "coupled with Article 35A, which have provided a constitutional mechanism to promote fissiparous and separatist tendencies in J&K". Speaker Kavinder Gupta who calls himself a proud RSS man was quick to constitute a panel on the violation of special status provisions and senior officers of the Geology and Mining Department were suspended.

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