Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Tariq Hameed Karra Thursday said the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) decision to fight for the protection of Article 35-A in the Supreme Court (SC) was not only “hypocritical” but “opportunistic” too.
Addressing a news conference along with Jammu Kashmir Civil Society Coordination Committee (JKCSCC), Karra said PDP should explain where they were silent since this controversy started.
“As a party, they could have already entered the legal domain to fight the case,” he said. “PDP has only decided to fight the case now because they think they can reap political benefits from it.”
Karra, a political heavyweight who defeated three time chief minister Farooq Abdullah in 2014, said they were making a mockery of it.
He said in government, PDP did not fight the case like a government should.
“Their government’s first affidavit was half a page in length signed by a deputy secretary of the government,” the Congress leader said.
He said while in power PDP could not get Government of India (GoI) to file a counter affidavit in the court leading to the present state of things.
“But I am satisfied with the response and legal team now under the Governor’s administration,” the CWC member said.
He said GoI was bound to protect the constitution of India and that includes Article 35-A.
“It isn’t BJP’s, Congress’s or any other political party’s constitution, it’s of a nation,” Karra said.
He said his appeal to National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah would be to not make statements against anybody in the State who wants to defend Article 35-A.
“There are people who want to divide the Article 35-A between mainstream and separatists but it is everybody’s issue,” the Congress leader said.
He said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP were out to scuttle the special position of the State.
“They (BJP) are trying to poison our posterity through this,” the CWC member said.
He said in this regard he along with JKCSCC would reach out to every party contesting the case, ask their lawyers to meet so that a joint strategy is devised to defend the case.
The Congress leader said people across the barriers of region, caste, creed, religion, colour or political ideology had already shown resentment toward any move to tamper with the special status of the State.
JKCSCC member and Awami National Conference (ANC) Vice President Muzaffar Shah said a huge majority of people from Jammu region along with prominent people from Ladakh had pledged their support for the protection of Article 35-A.
He said JKCSCC welcomes the support from BJP lawmaker Gagan Bhagat and soon JKCSCC would try to initiate a dialogue on the issue with Hurriyat and other separatist organisations.
“Former Congress MLA, T Samphel has pledged his support for the cause,” Shah said.
He said abrogation bogey of Article 35-A had been turned into a hanging sword for the people of Jammu Kashmir and that it was being used as a tool to threaten and coerce the people of the State.
Shah said JKCSCC would now meet NC President and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah on August 18 and also meet the High Court Bar Association members.
JKCSCC was also represented by Jagmohan Raina and Mir Javaid.