National Conference Party President Dr Farooq Abdullah Saturday said that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was prepared to play a collaborator’s role in the abrogation of Article 370 along the lines of G. M. Sadiq who helped in abolishing the positions of the Prime Minister and Sadar-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir and became the State’s first Chief Minister in 1965.
According to a party statement, Farooq while interacting with public delegations from Ganderbal and other areas across the Valley said that a surreptitious political battle had been launched against Article 370 and the State of J&K by RSS and BJP. “What is most worrying is not the fact that the State has powerful enemies. What is tragic is the fact that there are internal collaborators and foes within our State who are ready to do the bidding of those who have pledged to abrogate Article 370 in their election manifesto”, Farooq said.
“Sheikh Sahib gave us Article 370 for a reason and today we know the importance of Article 370. Those blaming National Conference for the erosion of Article 370 are either ignorant of history or are politically motivated. It was during the period of 1953 to 1975 that Article 370 was eroded while Sheikh Sahib was dismissed from the post of Prime Minister on 9th August 1953 for standing up for the aspirations of the people of J&K”, Farooq said.
He said that Sheikh M Abdullah signed the Delhi Agreement in 1952 with the Union government on Centre-State relationships, providing for Autonomy of the State within India and of regions within the State. “However Sheikh Sahib was arrested in 1953 for standing up for the sentiments and aspirations of the people and pliant regimes were installed in J&K to facilitate the erosion of the State’s autonomous character. Damage done by G. M. Sadiq to Article 370 was the most grievous assault on the identity and autonomy of J&K and today the same Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who was a lieutenant of Sadiq when Sadiq eroded Article 370, is ready to full fill what was left of their mission then”, he added.
Stating that the 1975 Indira-Sheikh Accord was signed on the premise of restoring Article 370 to its original form, Farooq said that there was a ‘promise from New Delhi that the erosion in Article 370 between 1953 to 1975 would be reversed’ and Internal Autonomy would be restored. “However, this never happened because of political intrigues, anti-J&K lobbies in Delhi and breach of trust. National Conference has never budged from its stand of demanding the restoration of Autonomy and Article 370. We fulfilled our election promise when we passed the Autonomy Resolution in the State Assembly in 2000 but tragically the NDA government of that time didn’t acknowledge the legal and constitutional importance of a resolution passed by a democratically elected Legislative Assembly,” the statement quoting Farooq said.