Opposition National Conference today demanded that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti explain to the people of the state what precise assurance she got from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of Article 35A and the state's special status.
"What assurance did Mehbooba manage to get from the prime minister? Did the prime minister assure her that the Central government no longer desires a 'larger debate' on Article 35A's validity - as was asserted by the Attorney General of India in the Supreme Court?
"Did the prime minister assure Mehbooba that the government of India through the Attorney General would now file a written affidavit as counter response to the PIL against Article 35A?" NC spokesperson Junaid Mattu asked.
Mattu asked the chief minister whether the prime minister assured her that BJP would stop officially terming Article 35A as "unconstitutional".
"Did Mehbooba get an assurance from the prime minister that BJP would respect the state's special status going forward and withdraw from its longstanding ideological position that demands the abrogation of Article 370? These are the questions that Mehbooba has to answer," he said in a statement here.
He reminded Mufti of "a similar assurance she lied about on the crucial issue of GST extension to the state".
Mattu said the chief minister has lost all credibility due to "such repeated ploys and deceptions aimed to mislead" the people of the state.
"All such previous claims made by Mehbooba about similar alleged 'assurances' have proved to be lies and hence the credibility of her statement is highly questionable," he said.
Referring to the statement of the state BJP spokesperson in which he reiterated the party's commitment to abrogate the state's special status, Mattu said "while we admire Mehbooba's 'insult-proof nature' despite repeated humiliation by the BJP, there is much more at stake here than her chair and "this opportunistic nexus of a government".
"It is primarily because of PDP's Faustian bargain and alliance with the BJP that the state's special status seems to be in serious peril today. Rather than enacting these theatrical performances - she should confess to her sellout and quit without any further delay," the NC spokesperson said.
He also ridiculed Mufti's "elaborate pretence of evolving a consensus" on Article 35A and asked the chief minister why she chose to be dismissive of repeated red-flags and reminders by the NC that her alliance partner BJP was "working systematically and seriously to use the judicial route to launch an unprecedented assault on Article 35A and Article 370 through unknown NGOs linked with the Sangh Parivar".
"Today, we are in this situation because of Mehbooba's and PDP's complicity in this sinister plan to rob us of our political identity and rights," Mattu said.
He lashed out at the chief minister and her government for "deliberately choosing an inadequate and irresponsible" legal defence in the face of this serious challenge to Article 35A.
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