NC demands CM spell out assurance from PM on Art 35A, 370

12/08/2017

SRINAGAR, Aug 11: Opposition National Conference today demanded that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti explain to the people of the state what precise assurance she got from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of Article 35A and the state's special status.
"What assurance did Mehbooba manage to get from the prime minister? Did the prime minister assure her that the Central government no longer desires a 'larger debate' on Article 35A's validity - as was asserted by the Attorney General of India in the Supreme Court?
"Did the prime minister assure Mehbooba that the government of India through the Attorney General would now file a written affidavit as counter response to the PIL against Article 35A?" NC spokesperson Junaid Mattu asked.
Mattu asked the chief minister whether the prime minister assured her that BJP would stop officially terming Article 35A as "unconstitutional".
"Did Mehbooba get an assurance from the prime minister that BJP would respect the state's special status going forward and withdraw from its longstanding ideological position that demands the abrogation of Article 370? These are the questions that Mehbooba has to answer," he said in a statement here.
He reminded Mufti of "a similar assurance she lied about on the crucial issue of GST extension to the state".
Mattu said the chief minister has lost all credibility due to "such repeated ploys and deceptions aimed to mislead" the people of the state.
"All such previous claims made by Mehbooba about similar alleged 'assurances' have proved to be lies and hence the credibility of her statement is highly questionable," he said.
Referring to the statement of the state BJP spokesperson in which he reiterated the party's commitment to abrogate the state's special status, Mattu said "while we admire Mehbooba's 'insult-proof nature' despite repeated humiliation by the BJP, there is much more at stake here than her chair and "this opportunistic nexus of a government".
"It is primarily because of PDP's Faustian bargain and alliance with the BJP that the state's special status seems to be in serious peril today. Rather than enacting these theatrical performances - she should confess to her sellout and quit without any further delay," the NC spokesperson said.
He also ridiculed Mufti's "elaborate pretence of evolving a consensus" on Article 35A and asked the chief minister why she chose to be dismissive of repeated red-flags and reminders by the NC that her alliance partner BJP was "working systematically and seriously to use the judicial route to launch an unprecedented assault on Article 35A and Article 370 through unknown NGOs linked with the Sangh Parivar".
"Today, we are in this situation because of Mehbooba's and PDP's complicity in this sinister plan to rob us of our political identity and rights," Mattu said.
He lashed out at the chief minister and her government for "deliberately choosing an inadequate and irresponsible" legal defence in the face of this serious challenge to Article 35A.
The NC Spokesperson also reminded Mehbooba Mufti of a similar alleged "assurance" she lied about on the crucial issue of GST extension to the State. "You lied to the people about similar assurances about GST and eventually ended up decimating the State's Fiscal and Political Autonomy by disempowering the State Legislature and Government completely and irrevocably in matters of taxation. The Chief Minister has lost all credibility due to such repeated ploys and deceptions aimed to mislead the people of the State", the NC Spokesperson further added.
"Just as recently as yesterday has an Official BJP Spokesperson for J&K reiterated his party's commitment to abrogate the State's Special Status. Another senior BJP leader has termed Mehbooba Mufti's statements as 'premature', while yet another Central BJP leader has termed Mehbooba Mufti's remarks as 'unfortunate'. While we admire Mehbooba Ji's insult-proof nature despite repeated humiliation by the BJP, there is much more at stake here than her chair and this opportunistic nexus of a Government. It is primarily because of PDP's Faustian bargain and alliance with the BJP that the State's Special Status seems to be in serious peril today. Rather than enacting these theatrical performances - she should confess to her sellout and quit without any further delay", the NC Spokesperson said.
The NC Spokesperson also ridiculed Mehbooba Mufti's elaborate pretence of evolving a consensus on Article 35A and asked the Chief Minister why she chose to be dismissive of repeated red-flags and reminders by National Conference that her alliance partner was working systematically and seriously to use the judicial route to launch an unprecedented assault on Article 35A and Article 370 through unknown NGOs affiliated with the Sangh Parivar? "Since two years we kept asking PDP to wake up from its power-induced slumber and rise to the occasion and realise how it was risking the future of the State because of its own self-seeking interests. Our repeated reminders and suggestions were met with rank irresponsibility and shocking lack of seriousness by the Chief Minister, the Law Minister and her Government. Today we are in this situation because of Mehbooba Mufti's and PDP's complicity in this sinister plan to rob us of our political identity and rights", the NC Spokesperson added.
The NC Spokesperson lashed out at Mehbooba Mufti and her Government for deliberately choosing an inadequate and irresponsible legal defence in the face of this serious challenge to Article 35A. "The Chief Minister should be ashamed that the Supreme Court ridiculed the quality of the response filed by the State Government in another matter pertaining to the issue of minority rights and status within the State. The PDP-BJP Government has made a laughing stock out of the State in the Supreme Court and has repeatedly demonstrated rank incompetence and unprofessionalism in dealing with such serious legal matters. Till today she has failed to fix responsibility for these failures and continues to mislead the people", the NC Spokesperson added.
"We hope Mehbooba Mufti answers these specific questions about the nature of these alleged 'assurances' from the Prime Minister rather than deflecting and diverting attention through irrelevant and redundant rhetoric. The people of the State deserve answers - not Mehbooba Ji's theatrical performances. This remains to be a very sensitive and crucial issue", the NC Spokesperson further stated.

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