SRINAGAR, APR 01 : In what could further fuel tensions and anxiety in Jammu & Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah said Article 35-A, which guarantees special status to the frontier state residents, will be revoked by 2020 if the Narendra Modi-led government is re-elected in the upcoming polls.
Shah, while speaking at the Agenda Summit organised by CNN News 18, said the government was so far unable to revoke the contentious legislation as it lacked the requisite numbers in the Rajya Sabha. “But I believe it will happen by 2020,” he said.
The BJP chief further added that revoking Article 35-A has been part of the BJP’s — then Jana Sangh — manifesto since the early 1950s. The party, he added, is waiting for a complete majority in the Rajya Sabha to repeal the law.
Notably, Article 35-A defines the “permanent residents” of Jammu & Kashmir — allowing only them to acquire an immovable property in the state. The law, along with the Article 370, were the basis of J&K’s accession into India in 1954.
Tinkering with these two provisions of the Constitution will lead to an unprecedented unrest, warned the parties of the Valley. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said it would “end” Kashmir’s relationship with India, whereas, Omar Abdullah called it a trigger to an unprecedented haul of unrest in the Valley.
A cautionary call was also issued by BJP’s Kashmir ally, Sajjad Lone, claiming that the trust between J&K and Delhi would cease to exist if Article 35-A and Article 370 is revoked.