National Conference to boycott political process until Article 370 is restored


Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference (NC) will not take part in the political process until the restoration of Article 370 and statehood to J&K, senior party leader Mustafa Kamal said.

Kamal, who is the brother of NC chief Farooq Abdullah, alleged that Article 370 was scrapped in order to end the “Muslim-majority character of Jammu and Kashmir” and to pave the way for “demographic change” in the erstwhile state.He said the NC is preparing the ground for moving a motion against the Centre’s “unilateral decision” and asserted that the party is hopeful that the Supreme Court will declare the move on Article 370 as unconstitutional.

“They demolished the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. We can’t take part in any political process in this system. New Delhi will like to manipulate us for changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir and enslave the people,” Kamal said in an interview to news agency .The NC leader said they were bewildered by the removal of Article 370 because both the then Governor Satya Pal Malik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had denied that the article was being revoked. “It is a fact that Article 370 was revoked without taking the approval of the J&K Assembly.”

For the resolution of Kashmir issue, the National Conference leader said it will keep pressing for an agreement between India and Pakistan. He claimed that he is in touch with Farooq Abdullah and that the NC chief won’t make any “compromise” in his stand.

Article 370 of the Indian constitution accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir and conferred the powers to enjoy autonomy over the internal administration of the state.

In a historic move, the Parliament abrogated this constitutional provision on August 5 and bifurcated into two union territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The restrictions were imposed on August 5 when the central government had announced the decision on Article 370. Several political leaders from J&K including three former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah and PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti have been detained since August 5.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah clarified that the Jammu and Kashmir administration will take a call on release of detained political leaders in the valley and the Centre won’t interfere in the process.

On Tuesday, the apex court started hearing the petitions challenging the Presidential Orders under Article 370 amid mounting international pressure to lift the restrictions.