Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Sunday rejected BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s diatribe on Art 370 as uncouth, saying the statement is reflective of BJP’s flawed and untaught version of history.
The spokesman in a statement quoted the Party’s additional general secretary Dr Sheikh Mustufa Kamal while rejecting the statement of Ram Madhav said, “The provision of Art 370 was not given to us by the then Prime Minister Nehru, but the then constituent assembly of India. The motion was supported by the then home minister Vallab Bhai Patel, and then industries minister Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. In addition to that Art 370 is powered by the conditional instrument of accession previously signed by Maharaja Hari Singh. Moreover, the state of Jammu and Kashmir didn’t sign any merger papers which were signed by other princely states. Our erstwhile head of state Maharaja only signed a document of accession subject to conditions. Subsequently, the state and the center entered into an accord, the Delhi agreement of 1952 as it is referred to as. The accord was ratified by the parliament of India and subsequently by the constituent assembly of the state. As such any unscrupulous fiddling with the special status of the state will inversely hit the bond of the state with the union. Likewise, Art 1 of the Constitution of India which deals with the territories of the union is also applicable to the state through Art 370. The Art 370 of Indian constitution mirrors the Instrument of Accession. On April 03 2018, the Supreme Court also opined that the Art 370 has acquired permanent status.”
While underscoring the necessity of resolving the issue of J&K, the party’s additional general secretary said that Government of India should stop shying away from solving the issue.
“The UN observers group in Srinagar and Muzaffarabad is reflective of various harsh realities, which are of historical nature and can least be brushed under carpet. The state of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to its people; moreover, any mischief to tinker with the special position of the state will have far-reaching consequences. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have traditionally guarded their identity with zeal. Any attempt to fiddle with the Article will also be analogous to a constitutional coup,” the spokesman quoted Kamal as having said.
“We are not the only state with such special provisions. Range of provisions are also available to other 11 states, listed in Articles 371, 371A to 371H, and 371J,” he said adding, “Unfortunately J&K has always been scorn in the eyes of bigots because the very Muslim majority character of our state bothers them. The constitution of India is a social document; the makers of the constitution of India had diligently accommodated the cultural diversity of the country in it. I would urge the forces as are inimical to the special status of our state to respect the constitution, rule of law and the procedures established by law. It is imperative for all of us to follow the rule book.”
Rebuffing the statement of Madhav on so-called election rigging of 1987, Kamal said, “Ram Madhav want to suggest that the Supreme Court, the election commission were sleeping over the issue of ‘rigging’. People of the country know how a tall leader like Indira Gandhi was disqualified by the honourable Allahabad court on rigging charges. Indira despite being the PM was disqualified by the court.”
Kamal said that “moreover had there been any rigging in 1987, many of the sitting Cabinet ministers of Dr Farooq led cabinet would not have lost the elections. The pet blame of our detractors on 1987 elections is not substantiated by facts” adding, that propaganda was unleashed at the behest of anti-NC forces headed by Late Mufti Syed, who later became the home minister of India. He was the one who brought Jagmohan to the state and extended AFSPA to the state. The same Mufti with whom the BJP hobnobbed in 2015 to form a coalition government,” he said.
“I urge the Modi government to address the internal and the external dimensions of the issue of J&K, the countrymen have given him a massive mandate; he should make use of this massive mandate to initiate an aggressive dialogue with all the stakeholders within the state. Our party has always vowed for a peaceful subcontinent, that dream cannot be visualized without India-Pakistan bonhomie,” he added.