Scrapping Article 370 will strengthen separatism: Soz

Senior Congress leader and former union minister Saifuddin Soz Tuesday said that abrogation of Article 370 will end accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India and “unite all political forces” in the state.

Soz was reacting to BJP’s manifesto in which the saffron party has pledged to abrogate Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“Once Article 370 is abrogated, the accession of

the state with India will end,” he told reporters during a press conference here.

This abrogation will also unite the people of Kashmir, he said. “It will give a chance to mainstream political parties, separatists and other people to unite”.

Soz slammed the central government and said the “country has got weakened because of the BJP. They are treating everyone as an enemy”.

He said that the BJP’s election manifesto “contains an obnoxious reference to the union of India’s relationship with the J&K State: abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India and also Article 35-A”.

“I reject this assertion as it is completely misplaced and unwarranted because it will remove the very bridge that connects J&K State with the Union of India,” he said. “Tragically, PM Modi is neither conversant with the history of India nor with its constitutional history”.

Soz said since the cabinet system of governance in India has “completely broken down and it is a one-man rule, I will refer to PM Modi as the sole person responsible for production of the BJP’s election manifesto”. “At this critical juncture of our constitutional relationship with the Union of India, we take the position that abrogation of Article 370 will create a situation where the people of J&K State will be forced to seek separation from India,” he said. “The assertion of the BJP that it will abrogate Articles 370 and 35-A will further worsen the situation in J&K and strengthen separatism”.