News Kashmir Exclusive
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 – issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954 in accordance with the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a way , Article 35A defines the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and bars outsiders from settling in the state, and prevents them from buying properties and take part in elections.
The article has been challenged in the apex court by a NGO on the contention that the article has been inserted in the Constitution by a mere Presidential Order and should be struck down.
Now with clamor growing for its abrogation the unease and resentment especially in the Kashmir valley is growing .
Top Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq directed his cadre and supporters to get ready for an agitation in case the Article 35A of the Constitution is tinkered with by the Supreme Court.
From Civil society members to profreedom leadership and mainstream politicians alike have come together to offer suggestions on what can be done if there is any tinkering with the law.
Keeping up the heat over the issue the MLA Javed Rana, a senior National Conference leader, lashed out at the BJP and warned them against the scrapping of Article 370 that will give an autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. There has been pressure from the BJP in the past as well since it has been in debate for a very long time.
Addressing a huge crowd, the Mendhar MLA is stated to have said that the Indian tricolor will have no presence in the militancy-hit valley if the government tries to do away with Article 35A and Article 370. He further said that these Articles make a bridge between the country and the state. He also warned that any attempt to break this bridge will have ‘disastrous’ consequences, as per a report by Financial Express (FE).
On the otherhand, The CPI(M)’s Jammu and Kashmir unit has also moved the Supreme Court in support of the Constitution’s Article 35A that empowers the state assembly to define ‘permanent residents’ for bestowing special rights and privileges to them.
The Left party sought an approval to intervene in a pending writ petition through its state committee member and Kulgam MLA Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami.
While on the other hand of the spectrum, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said Articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution are temporary laws which can be removed without a vote in the Parliament. Swamy’s statement came after National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah stated that any attempts made to thwart Jammu and Kashmir’s special status would not be allowed to succeed.
Nevertheless a heated debate is on over article 35 A in entire state and has given rise to uneasy situation.