Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that despite the Home Minister Rajnath Singh's assurance that the government would not do anything that would hurt the sentiments of the J&K people, the threat to Article 35-A persists as long as Centre doesn't file a counter-affidavit in the Supreme Court.
During his recent visit to J&K, Rajnath had told reporters that "an issue is being unnecessarily created. The central government has not initiated any process on this issue. We have not gone to the court. I want to assure that—I am not talking
about only Article 35-A—whatever our government does, we will not do anything against the sentiments of the people of J&K. We will continue to respect that."
Omar, however, said: "The issue of Article 35-A will be not settled until the petition filed in the Supreme Court is rejected."
Talking to his party supporters at Dak Bungalow here, he claimed that it is the National Conference that "educated" the people about the "consequences" of a petition filed by a non-governmental organisation against the Article 35-A which confers special rights and privileges on permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
"It is NC that brought the issue in public domain and cornered the state government over its silence on the issue," Omar said.
Our party will defend the Article 35-A at any cost, he said, adding: "We will leave no stone unturned to protect it."
Earlier, he said that an attempt was made to keep National Conference out of power so that the entry of BJP and RSS into state politics is ensured.
"During its election campaign, the PDP said that the defeat of NC would block the entry of BJP in the state politics. However, it was PDP that laid the foundation of BJP in the state politics," Omar, the working president of National Conference, said.
Had the National Conference been in power, no one could have dared to fiddle with Article 35-A, he claimed.
"The Article 35-A has been given a religious colour. Attempts are made to create confusion among the people of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh so that they don't come on a single page (on the issue)," he said.
Omar said that through a well-planned strategy, leaders were created from every nook and corner of the state "to weaken" the National Conference. "Soon after we passed a resolution for autonomy in the Assembly, the PDP was created in Kashmir," he said.
While lashing out at the PDP, Omar said that its agenda of alliance (AoA) which "was a fulcrum of PDP and BJP alliance exists nowhere."
"If the AoA was to talk with separatists, they have been put behind bars, while friendship between India and Pakistan is out of sight."
He said that the PDP claimed that it will bring youth to mainstream, "then how youth get killed on a daily basis?"
He said the PDP government has "failed" to fulfill its promises and people of the state have been "deceived by false promises."
He said if the state government has received rupees one lakh crore package in 2014, then where has it all gone.