Article 35-A dichotomy

Published at September 13, 2017 01:20 AM 0Comment(s)3583views


Article 35-A dichotomy

The stance of BJP on Article 35-A is dichotomous. The party office bearers are seeking revocation of the constitutional provision that prevents outsiders from owning properties in Jammu and Kashmir. But during his visit to Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that no steps will be taken which will hurt the sentiments of people of Kashmir. But such an assurance appears to be a complete hogwash as the state unit of BJP is pressing for revocation of the constitutional provision. The argument of the BJP is that the constitutional provision was discriminatory as it bars the people from outside owning the properties in Kashmir. But while parroting such a view, it tends to forget that the Jammu and Kashmir state has acceded with the Indian Union under special circumstances. The accession was based on the principle that the powers of the parliament to make the laws for Jammu and Kashmir state will be restricted to the areas of defence, communication and external affairs. However over a period of time other Central laws have been extended to the state through Presidential Orders. The BJP argument that the Article 35-A was introduced in the Indian constitution through Presidential Order is also flawed as on the same premises the constitutional validity of all other laws which have been extended to the state could be challenged. Sanity has dawned on political parties who have closed ranks to protect the Article 35-A. The PDP, NC and Congress have maintained a common stance over the issue realizing that any tampering with the Article-35A could trigger another wave of unrest. Special constitutional position which is enjoyed by the people of the state was the need that was endorsed even by autocratic rulers in view of the demands for protection of the jobs for state subjects. Not only could any move to revoke Article 35-A push the state again in the throes of violence, but it will also negate the very purpose of accession of the state with Indian Union. The idea behind protecting the special status of the state is in view of the different political scenario that has emerged in the state over a period of time. BJP should have ensured that the Central government instead of playing a partisan politics on the issues opposes the petition seeking revocation of Article 35-A which has been filed with the Supreme Court.  A mere assurance willn’t helps unless Central government truthfully states its constitutional position before the Supreme Court.

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