Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance to Mehbooba Mufti regarding the continuance of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, as revealed by the Chief Minister to the media, has not ended tension between allies BJP and Mufti’s PDP, with the state unit of the national party still advocating Article 370’s abrogation, sources told The Sunday Guardian.
Mehbooba Mufti told reporters in New Delhi on Friday that the Central government should accommodate the idea of Jammu and Kashmir within the Union with all the special provisions that Article 370 guarantees.
Mehbooba Mufti, during her meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Modi, is learnt to have stressed the need to strongly defend Article 35(A), currently challenged by an NGO in the Supreme Court under a writ petition, so that the situation in Kashmir is not disturbed. She said that any tinkering with Article 35(A) will renew street protests and agitation in J&K. She further said all mainstream political parties will lose relevance in the Kashmir Valley if Article 35(A) is done away with. CM Mehbooba has also met the leaders of all the political parties in Kashmir so that she is not “outwitted” by her ally BJP. Fearing that her party might face political erosion if the BJP pulls out of the alliance with PDP, she met National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, former CM of J&K, at their Gupkar residence and sought their support for defending Article 35(A). Sources privy to the meeting told this reporter that Farooq Abdullah assured her all support, but cautioned her about the plans of BJP regarding Kashmir. It was on the advice of Farooq Abdullah that the CM met all the political parties’ leaders.
Meanwhile, reports said that during her meeting with PM Modi she complained about the “arrogant attitude” Power Minister Piyush Goal regarding the transfer of two hydro-electric projects back to J&K.