omar abdullah

With just days ahead of the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, Omar Abdullah hits out the PM Narendra Modi government saying that he has vowed not to contest any Assembly elections till J&K remains a union territory. 

The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader wrote for the Indian Express, "Having been a member of the most empowered Assembly in the land and that, too, as the leader of that Assembly for six years, I simply cannot and will not be a member of a House that has been disempowered the way ours has,"

He further said that the BJP revoking Article 370 and Article 35A wasn't a shocker but splitting it into two UTs came as a shock and he still fails to understand the need for the move by the Modi government 'except to punish the people of the state.' 

He further wrote, "If the reason for carving out a separate Union Territory for Ladakh was the public demand among the Buddhist population of the area, then the demand for a separate state for the people of Jammu is much older." 

Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah
National Conference (NC) leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah at Parliament, in New Delhi on June 25, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Abdullah went on to write how that the dilution of Article 370 does not stand the test of basic scrutiny and asserted that the special constitutional status enjoyed by J&K was "not a favour done to the state."

"It formed the basis of the state's accession to India. There was no time stamp on these safeguards. It was understood that so long as J&K remained a part of India, the special status enjoyed by it would remain," he said.

Abdullah was released in March after the J&K government revoked his detention orders under Public Safety Act (PSA), more than seven months after he was detained.

Abdullah, his father Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were among the three Chief Ministers detained on August 5 last year after Article 370 was abrogated and the state bifurcated and downgraded to the status of a Union Territory.

BJP to unfurl tricolour across J&K to mark scrapping of Article 370

A BJP flag.Flickr

The BJP has decided that to mark August 5, when it will be one year of abrogation of contentious Articles 370 and 35A, one national leader each will be present in Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh on that day. They will take part in an event in the three cities of the erstwhile state of J&K, which will be replicated in the two union territories down to the mandal level.

Meanwhile, like other states, BJP leadership in J&K too have been asked to connect with at least 50 social workers in every district of India and articulate the initiatives and government projects sanctioned for the twin UTs -- Ladakh and J&K. Booklets for that purpose are also being published which will be handed over to them.