NC stages protest in support of Article 35A in Banihal

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Jammu: The opposition National Conference (NC) today staged a protest in Banihal against what it called “overt and covert attempts by the BJP” to repeal Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Led by its district president Sajjad Shaheen, scores of NC workers and supporters assembled in Banihal town, 126 kms from here on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, and raised slogans in support of Article 35A.

“Impairing this provision will amount to weakening the strong bonds between the state and the country,” Shaheen said and cautioned the BJP against “any misadventure” on the matter.

Addressing the protesters, he said tinkering with this special provision would be fought “tooth and nail” by the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh divisions, as “such a move (abrogation of Article 35A) can jeopardise their economic interests and deprive the youth of their share in jobs among other things”.

“The PDP seems to be conniving with the BJP by not emphasising on the Centre to put up a strong counter in the apex court to safeguard Article 35A,” he claimed.

An NGO has moved the Supreme Court seeking abrogation of the provision. The plea said the state government, under the guise of Article 35A and Article 370, which grants special autonomous status to the state, has been discriminating against non-residents who are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job or voting in the local elections.

The apex court will hear the matter after Diwali.

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