Omar, Advani engage in war of words over Article 370

BJP patriarch LK Advani and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah engaged in an online tussle on Friday over the repealing of special status granted to the state through Article 370.

The former deputy prime minister, who had earlier argued against repealing Article 370, in his latest blog took objection to Abdullah using words such as “cheating and deceiving” and also raising the “false bogey of revocation” of the provision. He clarified that barring Jawahar Lal Nehru, all Congress leaders, including Sardar Patel, were against granting special status to the Jammu and Kashmir.

“Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir state, has every right to disagree with the BJP on matters relating to J-K. But I would advise him never to use offensive language and words like ‘cheating’ and ‘deceiving’ in that context,” Advani posted on his blog.

To back his argument, Advani quoted from a biography of Sardar Patel to point out that even the Iron Man of India was against Article 370, but kept his views to himself out of respect for Nehru.

The Chief Minister did not take the blog post lying down, and in a Tweet on Friday questioned the NDA's silence on the subject when it was in power and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister .

“Instead of advising me to show restraint, Advaniji should devote some blog space to explain his silence over Article 370 between 1998-2004,” Omar countered on the micro-blogging site.

“Perhaps he can also blog about what constitutional mechanism he plans to follow to repeal Article 370. I might learn something from his wisdom,” the CM added.

Advani, who felt that the words were “highly improper”, insisted that the BJP has “not only been unequivocal, forthright and consistent from the time Jana Sangh (BJP’s predecessor) was born in 1951 till today, but it is an issue for which the party’s founder president laid down his own life”.

He recalled that Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir in 1952 when he attempted to enter the state without the mandatory permit required then to visit the J&K. He died under mysterious circumstances behind bars.

The NDA working president also referred to history to point out to Abdulalh that the Jana Sangh was not even born when the J&K got special status.

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