Srinagar, March 29: The statement of Union Finance Minister and the BJP leader Arun Jaitley that Article 35A is “constitutionally vulnerable and is an impediment to the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir” reveals the real intentions of the Saffron party vis-à-vis special status of the state. They (BJP) are misrepresenting the constitution and the state.
Why don’t BJP leaders come open and say whatever laws were passed by the then ruler of the state Maharaja Hari Singh were wrong? State subject law was passed by the Maharaja in 1927 and it was incorporated in the Constitution through negotiations and carried forward. Is there anything new which the BJP wants to scrap?
The Maharaja acceded to India by signing the instrument of accession and surrendered only three subjects i.e external affairs, defense and communication to the dominion of India while on all other subjects, the ruler of the state continued his sovereignty in and over the state by virtue of para(8) of the Instrument of accession.
As such, Article 35-A flows inevitably from Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir enacted in 1956 has also put its seal on the relevant notification vide Clause 13. Those who challenge Article 35-A, conveniently forget that it was only Article 1 and Article 370 which were applicable to J&K at the time (1954), the Presidential order regarding addition of Article 35-A was made. As such, the Article 368 could not have been resorted to, for the addition of Article 35-A.
If the Article 35-A is deleted from the Constitution, the accession of the state with the Union of India is liable to be jeopardised. Article 35-A is not the only provision in the Constitution of India in its application to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been added by the President by a Presidential Order issued under Article 370 (1).
At this juncture all the broad minded and democratic forces including political parties, intelligentsia and the civil society at large, should put their heads together, discuss the situation intensively and launch a concerted struggle against this mischief. While doing so caution has to be exercised so that the forces who profess hyper nationalism for political interests should not divide people of the state on regional and communal lines.
The conspiracy to remove Article 35-A is essentially the agenda of communal, divisive and anti-democratic forces who want to thrive on uncertainty, discard, hatred and turmoil. It remains on their agenda and is being exploited for political and electoral gains.