'Protect 35A, identify fake state subjects in J&K'

National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Tuesday cautioned against attempts of repealing Articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution of India, safeguarding rights and dignity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to have the fake state subjects identified and pushed back to their places of domicile.

“J&K needs a state subject registry of bonafide permanent residents compiled on immediate basis”, the Provincial President said while addressing a public meeting at Bahu here this afternoon, and called for expeditious identification of the fake state-subjects, who have usurped the rights of the people, especially those belonging to the Jammu region.

Referring to the BJP’s so-called Sankalp Patra and growing rhetoric of its leaders on the sensitive issue of Articles 370 and 35A, Rana said a sinister, motivated and vicious campaign is being carried out to vitiate the atmosphere in the state.

He described Article 35A as manifestation of the futuristic vision of Maharaja Hari Singhji and a constitutional guarantee to the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in general and the permanent residents of Jammu in particular.

The Provincial President said there is nothing new in incorporating these issues in the BJP Sankalp Patra, as overt and covert attempts of repealing Article 35A have already put the state at cross roads of history. He said the people will fight these machinations tooth and nail as tampering with this proviso is economically detrimental for them, especially youth who will be deprived of jobs and the local business will get hugely impacted due to influx of big business houses and traders from outside the state.

“The apprehensions of the jobs going to outside youth and businesses getting usurped by affluent traders are as grave as they were ninety two years ago when the Maharaja Sahib was constrained to bring the law”, he said, adding that the State Subject laws reflect the wisdom of the Maharaja and his far-sight.

He termed the Act as religion neutral, region neutral and caste neutral, saying its applicability is more relevant for the Jammu region than the other two regions of Kashmir and Ladakh. The apprehensions of non-state subjects making their way to Jammu are more likely because of its proximity to other parts of the country and conduciveness in terms of security scenario, culture, topography and terrain, he said hoped that the self-proclaimed champions of the Jammu cause will not ignore this reality.

Urging the people of the state to rise above politics and fight for protection of these constitutional guarantees, as these relate to their rights and identity. Being part of the nation, the people have right to oppose the BJP’s moves to tinker with it and this should not raise the eyebrows of the so-called hyper nationalists.

He said similar provisions are available to the other parts of the country like Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Goa etc as per various sub sections (A to G) of Article 371.

Addressing the workers, National Conference leader and former MLC T S Wazir pledged to defend the Article 35A and lamented sinister designs of the BJP to satiate its peculiar agenda.

He said National Conference will not allow weakening of Article 35A, which is against the interests of not only of any particular region or community, but the people of all faiths, regions and sub-regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

Wazir advised the BJP to shun its myopic understanding of Article 35A and said that its continuation is in the larger interests of the people of all the three regions and sub-regions of the state. Rana and Wazir exhorted the people to cast their votes in favour of Raman Bhalla for Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha Constituency, saying his win will be the victory of secular forces of the state.