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Sajad Lone Accuses NC, PDP, Opposition Parties of 'Complicity' Over Article 370 Issue

Anees Zargar |
The JKPC leader questions NC, PDP ‘silence’ on Art. 370 in Friday’s meeting of 19 Opposition parties, claims BJP stand is ‘clear’.
Sajad Lone Accuses NC, PDP, Opposition Parties of 'Complicity' Over Article 370 Issue

Image Courtesy: Free press kashmir

Srinagar: Former minister and leader of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC) Sajad Lone on Saturday criticised the regional leadership for participating in a meeting of Opposition parties, accusing them of being silent on issue of abrogation of Article 370. 

“In wonderment how can J&K leaders justify their presence in the meeting if they could not convince the leaders to talk about 370,” Sajad tweeted.

In a virtual meeting held on Friday, leaders of 19 Opposition parties called for a nation-wide stir in September against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The meeting was attended by prominent leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Benerjee, MK Stalin, Sharad Pawar and several others from Shiv Sena, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Rashtriya Janata Dal among others. The meeting was also attended by Jammu and Kashmir leaders Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, which Lone and his party has raised objections to.

 Lone, a former BJP ally, who served as a minister during the PDP-BJP coalition government from 2014-18, questioned the stand of national Opposition regarding Article 370 while claiming that BJP’s stance against the so-called special status was “clear.” 

 “Article 370 can be restored either in Parliament or by the courts. Courts we have to wait. It is a long process. In Parliament, we know BJP won’t restore it. The quietude of Opposition parties suggest they won’t either. Then who will,” the JKPC leader asked.

 JKPC’s spokesperson Adnan Ashraf in a statement said the Opposition has “buried the peoples demand” of bringing back Article 370, 35A and the domicile rights of J&K.

“The meeting of 19 opposition parties by selectively parroting the demand for statehood and criminal silence on Article 370 & 35A has endorsed the revocation of special status of J&K. In a statement issued after the meeting, there was no mention of repealing the decisions taken by the BJP government on August 5, 2019,” Mir said.

Additional spokesperson of the National Conference, Ifra Jan, however told NewsClick that they had not moved away from their original fight for the pre-August situation.

 “For a start, we would have hoped to see everybody who doesn't support BJP, openly or discreetly, welcome this meeting which comes at such a critical moment in India's history,” Jan said.

 She added that BJP had used the abrogation of some Sections of Article 370 as a rallying point in the country and that so many Opposition parties keeping their distance from the issue does not come as a surprise to her.

“We the JKNC, a few like-minded parties, and some individuals, are alone in this fight, whether in the Supreme Court of India, or in the popular discourse, but it is a fight we shall take to its rightful conclusion, within and outside the courts,” she added.

The JKPC in the statement claimed that there was a “national consensus” on Article 370 between the Left, Right and centrist parties.

“They were all hand in glove in removing the special status of J&K.  And they continue to share the consensus even today. People of J&K deserve to know this unvarnished truth,” Mir said.

A leader from the People’s Democratic Party accused the JKPC and its leadership of ‘conspiring’ against regional and Opposition parties, who, according to him, are more vocal about the restoration of Article 370. 

“National opposition party leaders talk more about our constitutional rights and Delhi's August 5 decision than these B and C teams of BJP. They are here only to appease Sangh Pariwar and discredit the Kashmiri leadership,” the PDP leader said wishing anonymity.

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