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Senior Jammu and Kashmir Congress leader Tariq Ahmed Karra today claimed that Home Minister Rajnath Singh's assurance of not hurting the sentiments of Kashmiris by fiddling with Article 35-A was the outcome of the pressure by his party. He also said that this was the "first success" of the Congress' relentless pressure on the Centre not to take people of Jammu and Kashmir for granted. Karra said that Singh's visit to Jammu and Kashmir and his announcements regarding the Centre's readiness for holding dialogue was the outcome of Congress pressure for which was he was thankful to party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi. Claiming that the aim of the policy, planning group on Jammu And Kashmir visit was fulfilled when the Home minster climbed down from the earlier stand of not holding a dialogue with anybody, he said only announcements will not work and these have to be substantiated with follow up actions. He said that when he had filed a petition to safeguard Article 35-A in the Supreme Court, the hearing was deferred on the government's request which was an indication of them feeling the heat. The former minister further said that now when that heat has began to make BJP-PDP uneasy, the home Minster has come up with an assurance of not fiddling with Article 35-A. The former Finance Minister, however, insisted that if the government was sincere and serious, it should file a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court. Karra also said that the BJP must prevail upon the petitioners to withdraw their petition as they were all backed by it. Making an appeal, he asked the people to come forward and meet the members of the Congress Policy and Planning Group during their visit to Kashmir on September 16.
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