We have to discuss whether to approach Govt or Supreme Court: Congress

A day after four regional parties and two national parties forged an alliance in continuation of last year’s ‘Gupkar Declaration’ to strive for J&K’s pre-5 August 2019 status, Congress Sunday said “it is to be seen in future to seek return of J&K’s special status from one who took it away or from a Constitutional institution.”

In an interview with the Greater Kashmir, J&K Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir said: “Yesterday after Farooq saheb gave a statement, he also asked us and we gave him our consent that we equally stand with last year’s Aug 4 Gupkar Declaration.”

“But in the near future when all party meeting takes place, in some circles there is (discussion) that after abrogation of Article 35-A and Article 370, many parties went to the Supreme Court. SC is also a Constitutional Institution. Many people have knocked on its doors in which many mainstream parties are involved. When this matter has been there at SC, it can be said that this part (of Aug 5 decision) is sub-judice.

Mir explained: “Neither is one in a position to give who has taken it away… Instead they went directly to court. Let the court decide.”

“In the same way those parties who went to court, they have to see, on one side they moved to SC, on other side they have to see as on date what to say to whom. Ask from whom who took it away or to one who is neutral. The one (SC) who is in a position to see Constitutional safeguards—it can take records and history into account and we have the possibility that we can have more benefits. This debate is happening in outside circles.”

“Deliberations on it will happen when there will be an all party meeting.  There are many people (who think on these lines). But as on date as a Congress party we are with the declaration. When all-party meeting will happen, at that time all parties will come up with something new. At that time it will be shared what it is all about,” he said.

Does it mean Congress has some second thoughts? Mir replied: “It is true at that time on Aug 4 when this declaration was made Congress party was one of the partners. It is clear cut. It was done for the status quo after all parties had apprehensions (that Delhi is up to something). We hadn’t got anything clear cut. But there was a guess that Delhi people may be doing something like it. It was a joint demand for state as well as status.”

“The only difference as on date is that on Aug 5 they (Delhi) did what they had to do. After that, the decision and resolution of Congress Working Committee was: the party will fight for restoration of the state with Constitutional guarantees….The same thing we conveyed to available leaders in February who were not under house arrest in Jammu. At that time we passed the same resolution…stand is the same,” he said.

As to what will be the political strategy of Congress in changed circumstances, Mir said: “There hasn’t been our formal executive meeting with regards to our (political strategy), since most of our people were under house arrest. There hasn’t been any formal meeting of our state unit, then there has been COVID-19. These things would be discussed and debated by everyone on their respective party platforms, and then with a common view we would sit at all-party meeting. A view which would be a view of party in totality.”

On Article 370 and Article 35-A, Mir said: “J&K is incomplete without 370. On Article 35-A there was a feeling of injustice on its two sections, which could have been corrected by political parties over here through the Assembly.”