Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti warned the Centre on Sunday against the revocation of Article 35A, saying any tinkering with the constitutional provision would be akin to setting a powder keg on fire.
“We want to tell the Central government that tinkering with Article 35A will be akin to setting a powder keg on fire,” the PDP president said. “If any hand tries to touch Article 35A, not only that hand, but that whole body will be burnt to ashes.”
Addressing a function in Srinagar to celebrate the Peoples Democratic Party’s 20th raising day, Mufti 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.
The former chief minister said many attempts would be made to harass the PDP and its leaders. She said New Delhi knew the PDP was the “only party” that “stands like a wall” to protect the state’s special status and identity.
“They can even send Mehbooba Mufti behind the bars. But, do not get worried. PDP is the only party that can fight them as we do not have any baggage. Other parties also say the same thing, but they do not say so from the heart. It is written on our hearts that we have to take Jammu and Kashmir out of this morass.”
“Be ready for the big fight. Elections come and go, power comes and goes. Mufti was not after the chair and I am his daughter. The real test is to save the special position of Jammu and Kashmir and we will fight any such attempt till death and take Jammu and Kashmir out of this morass,” she said.
“Today, everything is in danger. No one knows what is going to happen. Today, there is a need for the PDP more than it ever was for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We will not let the sacrifices of the people go to waste. We cannot forget those sacrifices. Go to your places and visit the graveyards where martyrs, whatever name they have, are buried. Pray for them and promise them that PDP will stand like a wall for the protection of the state’s special identity and for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” she said.
Claiming the prevailing situation in the state was not good, she said attempts were being made to weaken the people of Kashmir politically and economically.