Slamming Narendra Modi over his demand for a debate on Article 370, PDP on Monday said the BJP prime ministerial candidate lacks constitutional knowledge and his remarks can create fissures in Jammu and Kashmir.
PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said Article 370 providing special status to Jammu and Kashmir has gained a permanent status after the constitutional assembly of the state approved it and can not be scrapped.
“Article 370 is permanent and can not be scrapped. Even Parliament is not constitutionally mandated to review or scrap it,” Mr. Sayeed said here.
“We express concern at the serious gaps in the constitutional knowledge (with regard to Article 370) of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate,” he said.
The PDP patron said that Mr. Modi’s comments can create fissures within the state besides increasing trust deficit between the state and rest of the country.
“If Modi aspires for the top job of a country as diverse as India he will have to rise above prejudices, perceptions, propaganda and work for uniting people rather than dividing them,” he said.
“His raking up of Article 370 is a very disturbing indicator of his approach to sensitivities of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who acceded to India in pursuit of some dreams which still elude them and constitutional guarantees that can neither be withdrawn nor wished away,” the PDP patron said.
“One had expected the prime ministerial candidate hopeful to steer clear of the divisive issues and follow Atal Bihari Vajpayee in building bridges rather than sparking off controversies that have no relevance except trying to reap votes at the cost of national interest,” he said.
He said that Mr. Modi’s remarks on Article 370 is nothing more than “electoral rhetoric.”
“Even the Article 1 of the constitution of India determining the territory of the country applies to J&K by virtue of Article 370 only. Scrap this bridge with rest of the country and the entire gamut of accession and related issues stare in your face,” Mr. Sayeed said.
On Mr. Modi’s remarks that women had not been given equal rights in the state unlike in other parts of the country, he said, “It is factually incorrect to say that women of Jammu and Kashmir do not enjoy equal rights. Any woman of the state who marries outside does not lose her inheritance rights”.