If Art 35-A tinkered with, JK’s relation with India will end: Mehbooba
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday announced to boycott the upcoming Urban Local Body (ULB) and Panchayat elections in the State citing non-conducive environment following linking of Article 35-A hearing in Supreme Court with the polls.
“We have decided to stay away from ULB and Panchayat polls in the State. Article 35-A was unfortunately linked by the Solicitor General with the elections. People now have apprehensions that special position of the State will be eroded after elections are conducted,” Mehbooba said while addressing a press conference at her Fairview residence, here.
She said her party feels that Article 35-A and other special provision articles are a matter of survival for the people and the society of the State.
“Any attempt to impose any electoral exercise in the current atmosphere of fear and apprehension will seriously erode the credibility of the democratic electoral process and associated institutions. It (elections) will defeat the very purpose if democracy,” she said.
Urging the government to review its decision of holding the elections, the former chief minister said the government should focus on confidence building measures (CBMs) so that people of the State are assured that the constitutional guarantees within the Indian union will be inviolable.
She said the PDP has decided to only boycott ULB and Panchayat elections and decision on Parliament and Assembly elections would be taken later on.
“We will go one step at a time,” she said.
The PDP president said her party leaders discussed possibility of backdoor people and parties gaining as result of boycott of polls by two main political parties. “However, respecting the aspirations of the people, boycotting the elections was the best thing to do.”
“The situation created by linking Local bodies’ polls with the Article 35A case pending in the Supreme Court has created serious apprehensions in the minds of the people, who genuinely see it as an assault on the special constitutional position of the State,” she said.
Mehbooba said when she was chief minister of the state, she had informed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that she would pull out of the government if Article-35A was tinkered with.
She reiterated that no person would be left in Jammu and Kashmir to uphold the flag of India as the relationship between the State and Indian union would end with the tampering of Article-35A.
Mehbooba said the writing on the wall was clear that every section of the State’s society was united in defending Article-35A and the special position of the State.
“Women, children, old people along with every section across regional and religious divides are supporting Article 35-A,” she said.
Mehbooba said her party would ‘fight till death’ to safeguard the Article 35-A.
She also slammed National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s controversial statement that separate constitution for J&K was “aberration.
“It was a deliberate act to further raise the fire in the Valley,” Mehbooba said.
The PDP president also clarified that her last meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik was not about politics.
“He (Malik) had not come to convince me to participate in elections. It was a personal visit,” she said.