No power can scrap Article 370, says Omar

Former CM challenges Mufti to revoke AFSPA

No power can scrap Article 370, says Omar

Asserting that no power can scrap Article 370 of the Constitution, former chief minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday said the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) cannot be eroded further.

“The special status which has been eroded cannot be eroded further. You (the BJP and PDP) cannot scrap it (Article 370) from Jammu and Kashmir,” Omar said in the Assembly while speaking on the motion of thanks on the Governor's address.

While referring to the governor’s speech on special status to J&K, he said: “As if you (the PDP) have got some gift from the BJP by their silence on Article 370. It is not accepted by us. Silence on Article 370 is their (BJP’s) compulsion. Even former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji was silent on the issue.”

While referring to the PDP, Omar said: “Even if you had not been in alliance with them, still they had to be silent on Article 370. They (the BJP) cannot scrap article 370,” Omar said.

Challenging Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to revoke the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state, the NC leader said: “I had tried a lot on revocation of AFSPA and thought that it will be started during my tenure. But it did not materialise. I feel sorry that I could not do it. But what did you (the PDP) bring from the Centre in the Agenda for Common Alliance?”

Referring to the governor’s address in which he said that the central government will take a final view on AFSPA in some area, Omar told the chief minister: “The powers which you and your cabinet have is enough to do it. Why Central government, while you are in power? If you have really taken the concession from the BJP, which I could not get from my coalition partner (the Congress) then, you should approve it in the Cabinet and send it to the government to lift it.”

“Why did you bring in Delhi? It will give suspicious signals? It is undermining the institution of the chief minister. Remember you (the PDP) always targeted me for what you said was weakening the institution of the chief minister. Now what are you doing?” he asked.

He also questioned the PDP-BJP government’s agreement in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) regarding holding dialogue with all stakeholders, including Pakistan, to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Omar also sought answers from the government over the issue of West Pakistan refugees. “Are you proposing to give them government jobs? If it is so, then it means you want to make them state subjects? We want to hear it from you in your reply,” he said.

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