Opposition in J&K react over Bhagwat's constitutional amendment remark

Opposition in J&K react over Bhagwat's constitutional amendment remark
A day after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat demanded "necessary constitutional amendments to completely assimilate" Kashmir with the rest of the country, opposition parties warned that any such move would be fraught with "dangerous consequences" while alliance partners PDP and BJP were guarded in their reaction.

In his more than an hour-long address on Vijayadashmi, Bhagwat said, "Necessary constitutional amendments will have to be made and old provisions will have to be changed. Then and then only, the residents of Jammu and Kashmir can be completely assimilated with rest of Bharat."

While reacting to RSS chief's assertions, opposition National Conference (NC) spokesperson Junaid Mattu said Jammu and Kashmir's  special status was the only constitutional bridge that connects the state to the rest of the country. "The RSS chief should stop misleading the people to stoke passions in the face of growing criticism over the drastic economic slowdown in the country," he said.

State Congress spokesperson termed Bhagwat's remarks about the need for constitutional amendments as "unfortunate and unacceptable." "Any kind of tinkering with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir is fraught with dangerous consequences," he said and blamed the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) for a "complete sell-out to the BJP-RSS for the sake of remaining in power."

Senior CPM leader and MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, said the RSS chief's statement was an eye opener for those "who still have illusions about the intentions of the RSS and its affiliates."

Both PDP and BJP were guarded in their reaction to RSS chief's statement. PDP general secretary Nizamudin Bhat said his party's stand on article 370 and other such political issues is "abundantly clear."

“They (BJP and RSS) have their own politics at the national level, so they do it (issue such statements,” he said.

Asked if this national level politics of RSS and BJP could have affects on state politics in the near future, Bhat said, "PDP will cross the bridge when the time comes."

BJP’s state general secretary, Ashok Kaul said the government will be governed by the 'Agenda of Alliance.' “We have already stated our position. We are not going to disrespect the 'Agenda of Alliance' that we have signed with the PDP at the time of formation of the government,” Kaul said.

Asked about his party's stand over scraping of Article 35-A, which allows the state legislature to define "permanent residents", he said that the matter is pending before the Supreme Court and the party would respect the final verdict as and when it is delivered.

Pro-independence JKLF chief Yasin Malik while reacting to Baghwat’s statement said, "Integrating JK with India through constitutional measures and military operation and oppression, can only be termed as daydreaming and illogical."

"Trampling state subject law, giving permanent citizenship to West Pakistan refugees or any other tactics to change the demography and Muslim character of this land will meet a stiff resistance from the people of Jammu Kashmir. We will even not shy away from spilling our blood while defending our identity and freedom,” he warned.
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