New Delhi: Hitting back at National Conference president Farooq Abdullah for threatening to boycott elections to the state assembly and Lok Sabha if the Centre does not clear its stand on Article 35A, the BJP on Sunday said that the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister never made efforts to ensure democratic rights to the people of the state.
“Farooq Abdullah has always done politics and never made efforts to ensure democratic rights of people. Now when Modi Ji is trying to do so he is speaking against it. If Farooq Abdullah is objecting to panchayat polls over 35A issue then why did he contest Kargil polls?” said BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav.
Days after its announcement of not participating in the panchayat and urban local bodies (ULB) elections, the National Conference on Saturday threatened to boycott the assembly and parliamentary polls too if the Centre does not take effective steps for protection of Article 35-A and 370.
“How can we go to our workers and ask them to come out to vote? First do justice to us and clear your (Centre) stand (on Article 35-A). If your plan is that (weakening Jammu and Kashmir’s special position), then our ways are separate. Then we cannot have elections. Not only these (urban local bodies and panchayat) polls, but we will also boycott the assembly and parliamentary elections then,” Abdullah said.
The former chief minister said his party was not running away from polls, but wanted the Centre to do justice with the people of Jammu and Kashmir first and take effective steps for the protection of the state’s special position.
“On one hand they (Centre) want to conduct polls here. On the other hand they want to revoke Article 35-A, Article 370 has been weakened and there are also attacks on the (Jammu and Kashmir) Constitution,” Abdullah said.
Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state. It is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court.
Mainstream parties like the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have been holding protests in the state against the government’s attempts to dilute Article-35A.