Get opposition to endorse Article 370 restoration demand or leave platform: Sajad Lone to J&K leaders
Srinagar: Peoples Conference (PC) Chairman Sajad Lone Saturday said that the leaders from Jammu and Kashmir should either get the national opposition to endorse the demand for the restoration of Article 370 of the constitution or just keep out of the united platform.
Lone’s remarks came a day after a virtual meeting of the leaders of 19 opposition parties demanded the release of all political prisoners in J&K, restoration of its full statehood including J&K cadre of central services and the conduct of free and fair assembly elections at the earliest.
“No mention of Article 370 in opposition parties’ meet. In wonderment how can J&K leaders justify their presence in the meeting if they could not convince the leaders to talk about Article 370. BJP’s anti-Article 370 stance is clear. What is the national opposition’s stance,” Lone said on Twitter.
The PC chief said he knows that the BJP would not restore J&K’s special status.
“Article 370 can be restored either in the Parliament or by the courts. For the courts we have to wait. It is a long process. In the Parliament, we know BJP won’t restore it. The quietude of opposition parties suggest they won’t either. Then who will,” he said.
Lone asked why the leaders from J&K were becoming a part of a process “which endorses don’t talk about Article 370” discourse.
“Wow so you have become a part of a national opposition which abandons Article 370 and you irk and irritate a ruling party, not known for tolerance and hence put even statehood at risk. For heaven’s sake let us at least resolve that if we can’t facilitate we will not impede either. Leaders from J&K should either get the national opposition to endorse the demand for Article 370 so that at the national level there is some hope at a future date or just keep out of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, PC in a separate statement issued here said that the silence of 19 opposition parties on Article 370 and Article 35-A was tantamount to an endorsement of abrogation.
“The meeting of 19 opposition parties by selectively parroting the demand for statehood and criminal silence on Article 370 and Article 35-A has endorsed the revocation of special status of J&K,” a PC spokesman said.
He said that in the statement issued after the meeting, there was no mention of repealing the decisions taken by the BJP government on 5 August 2019.
The PC spokesman said that the opposition had buried the people’s demand of bringing back Article 370, Article 35-A, and domicile rights of J&K.
“Two senior leaders Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti attended the meeting. They failed to convince the opposition parties to put restoration of Article 370, Article 35-A, and domicile rights on their agenda. Why did these senior leaders attend the meeting when they could not persuade the opposition parties about the demands put forward in the Gupkar Declaration?” he said.
The PC spokesman said that constructive ambiguity was a better option than criminal non-ambiguity expressed through silence of the 19 opposition parties.
Asserting that both the PDP and NC had endorsed the stand of opposition parties through their participation at the meeting, the PC spokesman said that by attending this meeting Abdullah and Mufti had nailed the coffin of the special status of J&K.
“It seems NC and PDP are over enthusiastic to jump into the frame and be seen courting the national opposition. But at what cost? To find a seat on the high table, Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah have traded off their demand for restoration of peoples’ rights and most importantly betrayed the commitments made to people of J&K. If these 19 opposition parties will not support the demand of the people of J&K then what is the fun of attending such a meeting?” he said.
Meanwhile, CPI (M) leader Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami hailed the statement of the opposition parties.
“We appreciate the joint statement of the opposition parties where they have urged the government to release all political prisoners in J&K and restore full statehood including J&K cadre of central services,” Tarigami said on Twitter. With PTI inputs