New Delhi: The National Conference (NC) on Tuesday rubbished reports that its veteran leader Farooq Abdullah said that Article 370 of the Constitution would be restored in the Kashmir Valley with China’s help. Abdullah made the remarks during a television interview. Also Read - Fight for Article 370 to Continue Even if I've to be Hanged: Farooq Abdullah after ED Questioning
The NC said that its leader’s comments were twisted and that Abdullah never justified China’s expansionist or aggressive intention, as being claimed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Also Read - 'Political Vendetta', National Conference Attacks Centre After ED Questions Farooq Abdullah in J&K Cricket Association Scam
“Our patron was highlighting the anger of the people because of the abrogation of Article 370 last year. He has been doing that the past month. He said that nobody is ready to accept these changes in Jammu and Kashmir,” a spokesperson of the NC told Hindi language publication Hindustan. Also Read - Congress Welcomes Coming Together of Mainstream JK Parties, Demands Restoration of Article 370
“Our leader never said that Article 370 will be restored with the help of China, which was claimed by BJP leader Shambit Patra at a press conference. He also presented some earlier statements of Mr Farooq Abdullah in a wrong manner,” Hindustan further quoted the spokesperson as saying.
Abdullah said in a television interview on Sunday he wished that the Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir, would be restored with China’s support, thus creating a massive stir.
In the interview, Abdullah noted that China was not happy with the nullification of Article 370, which was scrapped in August last year by Parliament.
“As far as China is concerned, I didn’t bring (the) Chinese president here. Our Prime Minister invited him to Gujarat and even did jhoola sawari with him. He (PM Modi) even took him to Chennai and had food with him,” he had said.
The former chief minister of J&K said that China “never accepted” the nullification of Article 370. “They said till you restore Article 370, we won’t stop because it has now become an open issue,” he said.
“May Allah wish that our people get help from their might and our Articles 370 and 35-A get restored,” Abdullah said.
The BJP accused Farooq Abdullah of making “seditious and anti-national” statements on the issue of restoring the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, a charge denied by the NC which alleged that the BJP had twisted his remarks, news agency PTI reported.
“Abdullah’s remarks are seditious and anti-national” and have made him a “hero in China”, BJP leader Sambit Patra was quoted as saying by PTI.
Meanwhile, the Dogra Front, a local political outfit, staged a protest in Jammu on Tuesday against National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah’s remarks on the issue of restoring the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Raising slogans against Farooq Abdullah during the protest, the members of Dogra Front demanded the termination of Abdullah’s Lok Sabha membership.
The protesters appealed to Lok Sabha Speaker to take cognizance of Farooq Abdullah’s “anti-national” remarks on Article 370 and take action against him.
(With inputs from PTI)