Jammu and Kashmir Congress President promises to ‘safeguard’ Article 35A if elected to power

President of the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress party, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, has stated that if his party is elected to power, then they will work to safeguard Article 35A of the Indian Constitution. He said, “If Congress is voted to power, we will build consensus to address the concerns as per legislation of the state. We will safeguard Article 35A.”

Mir also stated that the Congress party will contest the local body elections in the state and will not give the Bharatiya Janata Party a free run.

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution grants Jammu & Kashmir the right to define the permanent citizens of the state and grant special rights and privileges to those residents accordingly. The Supreme Court was set to hear a PIL demanding the abolition of Article 35A but eventually adjourned the hearings.

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Article 35A is a sensitive issue in the state marred by violence. Clashes had erupted in late August after rumours spread that Article 35A had been scrapped by the Supreme Court. There has been heated debate surrounding the provision with some arguing that the article only serves to alienate the state of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India.

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