Erosion of J&K's special status responsible for mistrust towards New Delhi: Sajad Gani Lone

SRINAGAR: Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone Tuesday said the erosion of Jammu and Kashmir's special status is responsible for the growing alienation and mistrust towards New Delhi.

"It is a matter of promises made decades ago. It is a part of a set of special provisions offered to the people of the state in order to be part of India. People ignorant of history pass it off as concessions to the state," Lone said in a statement.

He said tinkering with the constitutional provision will have serious consequences, adding that Article 35-A is not just a matter of legality but of trust between New Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.

He said fiddling with Articles of trust like 35A intensifies the challenges faced by the state.

"The state is facing challenges from forces who are not satisfied with the current level of distinctiveness and are rather disappointed by the gradual erosion of the special status and believe in a separate identity," he added.

Lone said the Article 35-A and Article 370 are provisions of the Indian Constitution and those questioning them are challenging the Constitution. "Article 35A is not the only provision in the Constitution which has been inserted by the presidential order issued under Article 370," he said.

The Supreme Court has upheld the powers of the President to insert provisions in the Constitution for application to J&K, he added.

Lone said those who challenge Article 35A are only helping in strengthening those forces who have no faith in the Constitution.

"Like Article 370, there are special provisions like Articles 371, 371A, 371B, 371C, providing for special provisions for Northeast and other states," he added.

Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

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PTI