'Tinkering with Art 35A will be like triggering a bomb'

'Tinkering with Art 35A will be like triggering a bomb'

File picture of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti. Photo credit: PTI

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday warned the Centre against the revocation of Article 35A, saying that any tinkering with the constitutional provision would be like triggering a bomb leading to devastation.
 
“We are facing an onslaught. Our special status and identity are being targeted. We are being disempowered politically and economically. In such times, PDP will take the lead to fight such designs,” she said while addressing a function to celebrate the PDP’s 20th raising day.
 
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief asked her party workers to get ready for a big fight for the protection of Article 35A, which gives special rights and privileges to the state’s permanent residents.
 
“You will have to be prepared to fight a long and hard battle that would require us to render more sacrifices. We have been selectively harassed in past and may see so in future too because everyone knows that ours is the only party that will stand strong as a wall against attacks on our special status,” the former CM said.
 
The PDP president said that while the state is witnessing an onslaught on its special status and “attempts are being made to disempower our people politically and economically, PDP will fight such designs tooth and nail at any cost.”
 
“Till the time we kept BJP engaged, we insulated the state from any step from the centre against our special status. It was no small thing to get Modi led union government to do month-long ceasefire in the state, appoint a cabinet secretary rank interlocutor and make many offers of unconditional dialogue at the union home minister level. But we did achieve all this,” she added.  
 
Mehbooba had on Saturday criticised the Centre for its decision to deploy additional 10,000 central armed paramilitary forces (CAPF) in Jammu and Kashmir.