Constitutional amendments: J&K parties to move to court

Last Updated 01 March 2019, 11:45 IST

A day after government of India extended two constitutional amendments to Jammu and Kashmir in the absence of an elected government, regional National Conference (NC) and PDP Friday threatened to move to the court against the Center’s decision.

The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday evening approved the proposal to extend constitution 77th amendment (reservation in promotion for the SCs and STs) and constitution 103rd amendment (reservation for economically-weaker sections of society) to J&K.

The concurrence for extending these amendments was given by the governor Satya Pal Malik, the government of India’s own nominee, after the state administrative council (SAC) approved the proposal earlier this month.

However, the decision didn’t go well with the political parties in Kashmir, who said, concurrence for extending constitutional amendments can be given only by an elected government.

National Conference (NC) leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while reacting to the Center’s decision said the Article 370 makes concurrence of Government of Jammu and Kashmir a condition precedent for extension of a Constitutional provision not falling under three subjects.

In a series of tweets, Omar said his party will consult eminent lawyers to explore how the decision can be challenged in the court of law. “The Government means an elected government. President cannot seek concurrence of Governor who is a representative or agent of President. Same will apply even where only consent is required,” he tweeted.

PDP president and another former CM Mehbooba Mufti termed the decision a “sinister” move by New Delhi aimed at “disempowering” the state. “Ostensibly, using the Governor’s office seems to be a sinister move to further disempower the state. This will not be tolerated & the entire state will fight against this criminal and illegal move of GoI (sic),” she said in a tweet.

The PDP chief also questioned the intentions of the BJP-led government at the Centre asking why people of Kashmir were being pushed to the wall? “Why is GoI adamant on adding fuel to the fire and letting the situation slip out of control? Why push Kashmiris to the wall? PDP is willing to work with like-minded parties and people of the state to fight this battle tooth and nail in the courts,” she said.

Senior leader of CPI (M), Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the governor administration doesn’t have moral or political authority to take such constitutional decisions. “Such decisions should have been left to the elected representatives who have the mandate of people. The mandate to take constitutional decision lies with the state Assembly. There is already lot of mistrust and chaos in the state and such decisions taken by the Governor administration won’t have positive impact on the overall situation,” he said in a statement.

(Published 01 March 2019, 11:39 IST)

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