KATHUA: National Conference on Monday strongly reacted to the statement of BJP National President Amit Shah on repealing Article 35A, which it described as manifestation of state subject laws enacted by the visionary Maharaja Hari Singh Ji to protect the identity and dignity of J&K, saying that the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were resolute enough to defend this constitutional guarantee to the state, a statement issued here said.
“We won’t let Article 35A go, come what may”, Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana said while addressing a party rally here this afternoon along with State Secretary Surjeet Singh Slathia and other senior leaders.
Rana said the people of the State dismiss the assertion of Amit Shah with the contempt it deserves but at the same time are determined to foil every mischief aimed at tinkering with this this constitutional guarantee. He cautioned the BJP against whipping up passions on this sensitive issue, saying any misadventure will have serious ramifications and adverse fall out in all the three regions of the state.
He said a growing consciousness is dawning upon the people of the state, especially Jammu with regard to their rights and the likely subjugation they might suffer in the event of state subject laws, brought in by Maharaja Hari Singh Ji to retain peculiar identity and heritage of the Duggarland, in case this proviso is dispensed with.
“The apprehensions of the jobs going to outside youth and businesses getting usurped by affluent traders are as grave as they were ninety years ago when the Maharaja Sahib was constrained to bring the law”, he said, adding that the Article 35A forms important ingredient of the Constitution of India. In fact, this Act endorses the wisdom of the Maharaja and his far-sight which is reflected in the presidential order of 1954. He termed the Act as religious neutral, regional neutral and caste neutral, saying its applicability is more relevant for the Jammu region than the other two regions of Kashmir and Ladakh. The chances of non-state subjects making their way to Jammu are more likely because of its proximity to other parts of the country and conduciveness in terms of security scenario, culture, topography and terrain, he said hoped that the self-proclaimed champions of the Jammu cause will also not ignore this reality.
Surjeet Singh Slathia also lashed out at the BJP leadership for again raking up this issue, saying protecting Article 35A is political philosophy of the National Conference apart from saving the proud Dogra heritage and culture.
Slathia referred to the misinformation campaign unleashed by the BJP on Article 35A and said these are diversionary tactics to divert the attention from the overall failure of the NDA government across the country on all fronts. He blamed the BJP leadership for using Article 35A as a political weapon to hoodwink public opinion, especially at the times of the elections.
“Now that the BJP is seeing writing on the wall, it has again switched over to the contentious issues like Article 35 A and Article 370”, the former minister added.
The National Conference leaders exhorted the people to remain vigilant against the machinations of the BJP and called for a united fight against its divisive and hate politics. They appealed to the voters to cast their votes in favour of the Congress nominee, Mr Vikramaditya Singh for Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha seat, as per the decision of the National Conference leadership.
Rana and Mr Slathia hoped that the people will come in large numbers to exercise their democratic right and strengthen democratic forces in the state.