NATIONAL

Mehbooba, Farooq talk Article 35A

Combing operation:Army jawans at Drabgam in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Tuesday.NISSAR AHMAD;NISSAR AHMAD -

Combing operation:Army jawans at Drabgam in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Tuesday.NISSAR AHMAD;NISSAR AHMAD -  

Meeting comes amid increased concerns of the parties over special status of J&K

Under pressure from her own Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to declare revocation of Article 35A as “a redline” for the ruling PDP-BJP coalition, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday evening met Opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah “to discuss the State’s special status”.

The 20-minute meeting at his residence comes a day after Dr. Abdullah had warned of a “public revolt” over revocation of Article 35A.

Common ground

“Besides the prevailing situation in J&K, apprehensions of erosion of State’s special position were also discussed. The two parties may have different ideologies but they are one on safeguarding J&K’s special status. This is also in the national interest,” PDP minister Nayeem Akhtar told The Hindu after the meeting.

He said the constitutional link with the country “binds us”. “Any attempt to weaken the constitutional link will make the situation worse. There is a consensus on J&K’s special status here and today’s meeting was aimed at strengthening it,” he said.

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