Advani’s Remarks On Article 370 Draw Flak

Advani’s Remarks On Article 370 Draw Flak

24 June 2013
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Showing a united face, Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream camp Monday said no power on earth can remove or amend the Article 370 with main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) terming it an “Article of faith.” In a statement issued here, PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said Article 370 is an article of faith between J&K and rest of the country. “Even in its eroded form, it grants the state substantial powers that can address the issues peculiar to it. The element of accountability introduced in state political system after the emergence of PDP will ensure that no party colluded in further disempowerment of the state,” he said. “It was lack of political alternatives and a single party monopoly in the past that was responsible for weakening our special status granted by the constitution of the state. Such a possibility is substantially reduced because of awareness among people and the fact that any party that collaborates in such ventures will do so to its own peril.” Welcoming the visit of Prime Minister to the state Mufti regretted that such occasions ceased to generate a similar atmosphere as they did during the PDP led coalition. He said it was unfortunate that Kashmir observed strikes and government responded with stiff restrictions on common people defeating the political purpose of such important visits. “These visits were actually an index of the reversal by present government of the progress made by earlier coalition,” he said. “They can't provide safe passage even to the Prime Minister without imprisoning the entire population. I wonder how they could take any larger initiatives or even follow up what had been started earlier.” State Congress chief Prof Saifuddin Soz while lashing out at the BJP patron L K Advani said that no authority can remove or amend Article 370. In a statement issued here, Soz said: “I strongly condemn Advani’s statement on removal of Article 370 from the constitution of India. If it was possible to remove article 370 from the Statute Book, why didn’t NDA do so when it was in power with Advani as Deputy Prime Minister?” He said the constitutional position is that Article 370 can neither be removed nor amended, by any authority. “It is clear that Advani has raised this bogey to mislead gullible people and, it is also very widely known that the BJP has been raising this issue on the eve of every election in India,” Soz said. National Conference (NC) in its sharp reaction said that “Advani was parroting this slogan because elections are approaching.” “If he believed in what he is saying, he should have pursued it when he was the deputy Prime Minister,' said Tanvir Sadiq, Political Secretary to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. 'I am surprised that leaders of a party which was once headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee would talk so lame.' He said BJP always had an agenda to divide people on the lines of region and religion. Sadiq said they feel that raking such issues might fetch BJP some votes and improve their credibility in the country. “BJP does not respect the stand of the Parliament about Article 370 of which Advani is also a member,' he said.