Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti warned the Centre on Sunday against the revocation of Article 35A, saying any tinkering with the constitutional provision would be akin to setting a powder keg on fire.
Addressing a function in the city to celebrate the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) 20th raising day, Ms Mufti asked her party workers to get ready for a big fight for the protection of Article 35A, which gives special rights and privileges to the state’s permanent residents.
Article 35A grants special rights and privileges pertaining to jobs, and property ownership, among other things, to those defined as “permanent residents” of the state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules at the Centre, had promised to scrap it in its election manifesto. The ruling party also wants to remove Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits Parliament’s power to make laws concerning the state. The state is currently under President’s Rule.
“We want to tell the Central government that tinkering with Article 35A will be akin to setting a powder keg on fire,” she said.
“If any hand tries to touch Article 35A, not only that hand but that whole body will be burnt to ashes”, she added.