‘Idea of India must accommodate idea of J-K’: CM Mufti meets PM Modi over Article 370

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid the debate over the special status of the state.

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The Chief Minister, who arrived in Delhi on Friday, called on the Prime Minister at his Parliament office.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the debate on Article 35A of the Constitution that grants special status to the state and is being challenged in the Supreme Court.

Speaking to media after meeting Prime Minister, Mehbooba Mufti said, “The basis of our agenda of alliance is that status quo of 370 has to maintained none of us can go against that. Discussions on article 35A have a negative impact on Jammu & Kashmir, it should not happen.”

“Idea of India has to accommodate idea of Jammu & Kashmir,” the Chief Minister added.

She also said that the Prime Minister gave 100% assurance on the agenda of alliance.

The chief minister had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday.

Mehbooba is keen to build consensus against scrapping the Constitutional provision, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges, sources said.

Mehbooba had met opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah this week to seek the support of his party on the issue.

Abdullah had told her that she should meet the prime minister, all important central ministers and also the BJP leadership to convince the Sangh Parivar against striking down the constitutional provision.

The state BJP, an alliance partner in the state government, had upped the ante with its spokesperson Virendra Gupta saying yesterday that time had come to bid a farewell to Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution as they created a “separatist psyche”.

The controversy erupted in 2014 after an NGO ‘We the Citizens’ filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking that Article 35A be struck down.

Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a presidential order in 1954, it said.

While the state government contested the petition, saying the president had the power to incorporate a new provision in the Constitution by way of an order, the Centre, recently, expressed its reservations.

(With agency inputs)