Contending that it was impossible for the NDA government to abrogate Article 370 that gives special category status to Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said confusion was being deliberately created on the issue which would further alienate the people of the state. (Agencies)
The Chief Minister said considering that we claim that entire J&K is ours and the BJP has always been saying that even the Pakistani side of Kashmir is India's part, the Constituent Assembly will have to have members from there too.
"But this is highly impossible. Who is going to recall a Constituent Assembly?," Omar asked, a day after the MoS in the PMO Jitendra Singh stirred a controversy by declaring that the new government has started the process for repealing the provision. Singh has since said that he has been ‘misquoted’.
Omar also asked the Centre to make known the ‘stakeholders’ it was talking to for this purpose.
Echoing Omar's views, Congress leader Manish Tewari tweeted, "Article 370 (3) read with Art 370 (2) clarifies 370 cannot be repealed without consent of constituent assembly which does not exist. No brainer."
Another Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi condemned Singh's remarks as ‘trigger-happy reactions’ and said that they are ‘orchestrated’ and meant for polarizing the polity of the country.
The core group of the ruling National Conference also met in Srinagar and condemned Singh's remarks, saying it has hurt the people of J&K and amounts to endangering the security and the integrity of the country.
"They (BJP government at the Centre) cannot abrogate Article 370 till the Constituent Assembly is recalled. The Constituent Assembly approved accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. If you want to raise the question once again, then you need to bring the Constituent Assembly and then we will talk," Omar told reporters in Srinagar.
Reacting to Omar's remarks that either J&K won't be part of India or Article 370 that grants special status to the state will still exist, senior RSS leader Ram Madhav said that the state will always be an integral part of India with or without the provision.
Madhav also asked whether the Chief Minister thought the state was his ‘parental estate’ and said no one should take any offence to any ‘open-ended debate’ on Article 370.
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti condemned Singh's remarks, saying that it has the potential to divide J&K on communal lines and trigger ‘another partition’.
JD-U president Sharad Yadav said that nothing should be done on the issue of Article 370 against the precedent followed on this issue.
"I strongly condemn what the minister has said on Article 370. Kashmir is the soul of the country. The statement is not appropriate and not in the interest of the nation. A promise was made to Kashmir," he said.
In a press release, JD-U general secretary Javed Raza said, "The party has taken the challenge of defending the democratic values and has cautioned the new government for not confronting with the Constitution of India while raising the issues like the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir."
Contending that it was impossible for the NDA government to abrogate Article 370 that gives special category status to Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said confusion was being deliberately created on the issue which would further alienate the people of the state.