Mehbooba seeks Abdullah’s help to save Article 35A

 Jammu and Kashmir and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti (DH Photo)

Amid Centre's rumoured plans to revoke Article 35A, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday sought help from her rival party National Conference’s patriarch Farooq Abdullah to forge a united response.
 
"In light of recent developments that have caused a sense of panic amongst people in J&K, I’ve requested Dr Farooq Abdullah Sahab to convene an all-party meeting. The need of the hour is to come together & forge a united response. We the people of Kashmir need to stand up as one (sic),” she said in a tweet.
 
On Sunday Mehbooba warned the Centre against the revocation of Article 35A, saying any tinkering with the constitutional provision would actually be triggering a bomb that would lead to devastation.
 
Article 35A gives special rights and privileges to the state’s permanent residents. Rumours are agog in Kashmir from the last few days that Narendra Modi government plans to end the special status of the state by abolishing Article 35A after annual Amarnathji yatra ends on August 15. 
 
Reacting to Mehbooba’s statement, Abdullah said that they were calling an all-party meeting within two or three days to discuss the issue. “I am presently in Delhi and am in touch with other leaders and we will accordingly decide about the date (for calling all-party meeting),” a local news gathering agency quoted Abdullah as having said.
 
“There is panic (in Kashmir) as one lakh soldiers have been called which is not a joke. On one hand, government claims situation is normal, (Amarnath) yatra is going on smoothly and tourists are coming while on the other they are deploying more forces and have kept masjids under scrutiny,” the NC chief said.
 
However, J&K governor's advisor on Home affairs K Vijay Kumar rejected the reports that troop movement was connected to rumours of revocation of Article 35A. He termed the various viral government orders on social media related to troops and other info as rumour-mongering. 
 
“The induction of more troops in Kashmir Valley is a routine exercise and the decision was taken on the backdrop of meeting related to Amarnath Yatra and other counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir,” he told reporters in Srinagar.

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