Banihal: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday slammed the BJP for raking up the issue of special status for the state saying that Article 370 was only a political issue for it to ‘befool’ the people.

Speaking in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Omar did not name BJP leaders but said "there are some opportunistic leaders who are parroting Article 370 as they feel elections are near and want to befool the people.”

"I want to take this opportunity to make a few things clear. They come to our land and talk about abrogating Article 370. I want to remind them that they were in power for six and a half years during which they didn’t talk about the abolition of the crucial article,” said Omar.

"They remember these things only when they are out of power. If they get the reins of power again, which I do not think will happen in next 10-15 years, I don’t think they will touch Article 370, because they know that weakening 370 will be like weakening the relation between Jammu and Kashmir and the country," the Chief Minister said.

BJP has been pressing for the abolition of Article 370 and senior party leader LK Advani had on Sunday, made a renewed pitch for scrapping it.

He warned the BJP that any dilution of the constitutional guarantee would be possible ‘only over our dead bodies because we would not allow you to weaken this relationship. This relation has been confirmed by Sheikh Abdullah and the first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru."

Omar said as long as NC and Congress are in the state, nationalist forces will not be weakened. "We would not remain quiet and will try to guard the people of this state and keep alive the relation of this state with the country," he said.


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