The Home Ministry has sent a proposal to Law Department of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory for a feedback on granting Article 371 as a compensation for the revocation of Article 370, which granted the erstwhile state special status, sources said.
They said the Law Department has been asked to study the proposal and give the feedback to the Centre. “The file is currently in Law Department, as deliberations over the contours of the new arrangement are being held. By mooting the idea of Article 371 for J&K, the Centre is trying to draw the contours of post Article 370 Kashmir politics. But the effort is still tentative in nature,” sources revealed.
A group of senior politicians from Kashmir which includes senior PDP leader and former deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig have already given an indication that they were willing to settle for Article 371.
“We are a hill state and the Constitution has provided special provisions under Article 371 for all the hill states with domicile rights like those they enjoyed under Article 35A,” Beigh had last month told a local news gathering agency.
However, it is unlikely that PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who is undergoing detention since August 5, will be willing to settle for this. A senior PDP leader wishing anonymity said that bargaining on Article 371 could be Beig’s personal view and not that of the party.
“Mehbooba ji is in jail and till she is not released along with other leaders, it is pre-mature to comment on such issues,” he said.