SRINAGAR: After almost four years since Article 35A and 370, which gave special status to Jammu Kashmir, were abolished, the political scene in the region is heating up once more with talks about restoring it.

The new debate started when petitions challenging the August 5 decision were listed in India’s Apex court. This happened shortly after former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of Jammu Kashmir wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India, requesting an early hearing for the petitions opposing the one-sided revocation of Articles 35A and 370.

While public debates about Article 370 are being avoided in social circles by Kashmiris and people from Jammu, private spaces and discussions are abuzz with the topic. Politicians, including former Chief Ministers of Jammu Kashmir, have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti expressed her appreciation on Twitter for the Supreme Court’s decision to finally hear the pending petitions challenging the illegal abrogation of Article 370, stating, “Welcome Hon’ble SC’s decision to finally hear petitions pending since 2019 challenging the illegal abrogation of Article 370. I hope justice is upheld & delivered for the people of J&K. The SC ruling on Article 370 maintained that the provision can be abrogated only on the recommendation of the J&K constituent assembly.”

Omar Abdullah, who has also filed a petition against what he deemed an unconstitutional decision by the BJP, expressed his eagerness for the hearings to commence earnestly.

MY Tarigami, Chief Spokesperson of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a coalition of various political organizations advocating for the restoration of Articles 35A and 370, released a comprehensive statement welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the petitions. He emphasised that the unilateral decision made on August 5, 2019, had violated the constitutional order and called for its reversal and the delivery of justice.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), also welcomed the Supreme Court’s notice. In a statement, Azad expressed his optimism, saying, “It’s has been after a long time that the Supreme Court has taken note of the petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370. I am hopeful of a positive outcome as I aspire for restoration of full rights which got annulled following the abrogation on August 5, 2019. Article 370 is in the interest of all the regions of the J&K UT irrespective of caste, creed and religion, we have been stressing about it from day one, and we believe that the Supreme Court would give justice to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and safeguard their interests.”

Sajad Lone, Jammu Kashmir Peoples Conference chief expressed his approval on Twitter, stating, “The Supreme Court’s decision to hear petitions regarding Article 370 is a positive development. Let us remain hopeful that justice is upheld.”

GM Shaheen of JD(U) conveyed, “We will welcome every step taken by the honorable Supreme Court. People have faith in the judiciary… As far as the abrogation of Article 370 is concerned, the majority of the people are concerned about the issue… We expect the verdict to be in our favor. This will be a significant victory for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”


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