New Delhi: Hitting out at Narendra Modi-led government over its decision to abrogate Article 370 (that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir), National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has vowed not to contest any Assembly elections till J&K remains a Union Territory. Also Read - J&K: BJP Leader Out on Morning Walk Shot at by Unidentified Militants in Budgam; Third Attack in a Week
On August 5, 2019, the Centre had revoked Article 370 which gave special status to the Valley and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories– Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh. Also Read - 'Keeping Quiet Not an Option': Ex-Malaysian PM 'Won't Apologise' For Remarks on Kashmir
Breaking his silence on the first anniversary of revocation of Article 370, former Jammu and Kashmir CM, in his latest piece in The Indian Express said,”Having been a member of the most empowered Assembly in the land and that, too, as the leader of that Assembly for six years, I simply cannot and will not be a member of a House that has been dis-empowered the way ours has.” Also Read - GC Murmu Takes Charge as Comptroller and Auditor General
Terming the move as a humiliation heaped on the state, he said that this was the first time a state was downgraded to a Union Territory. The NC leader claimed that the sole aim of the move was to punish the people of the erstwhile state.
“To this day, I fail to understand the need for this move, except to punish and humiliate the people of the state. If the reason for carving out a separate Union Territory for Ladakh was the public demand among the Buddhist population of the area, then the demand for a separate state for the people of Jammu is a much older demand. If the demand was conceded on religious grounds, then it ignored the fact that Leh and Kargil districts, which together make up the Union Territory of Ladakh, are Muslim majority and the people of Kargil are vehemently opposed to the idea of being separated from J&K”, he wrote for the leading daily.
On the other hand, it has been reported that the BJP has planned a 15-day-long programme in Jammu and Kashmir from August 5 to mark the first anniversary of the revocation of the special status of the erstwhile state. BJP general secretary Ashok Koul said that a lot of programmes are on the cards. The saffron party will hoist the tricolour in all the zonal, tehsil and district headquarters.