The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir has made yet another controversial remark regarding the news concerning the abrogation of Article 370. Mehbooba Mufti had said that if Article 370 is scrapped, India will have to re-negotiate its relationship with the state.
#WATCH Mehbooba Mufti: If you break that bridge (Art 370)…then you will have to renegotiate relationship b/w India-Jammu&Kashmir, there will be new conditions…A Muslim majority state, would it even want to stay with you?…If you scrap 370, your relation with J&K will be over pic.twitter.com/HlAMZh3KcC
— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2019
Mufti further went on to insinuate that in the event that India has to re-negotiate its relationship with the state, a Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir might refuse to have any kind of association with secular India and the relation between the state and the country will be over. Mufti further alleged that if Article 370 is rescinded, Muslims in the state may not be inclined to join the union of India.
It is noteworthy to mention that the profoundly shocking remarks have come from a legislator who had served as a Chief Minister of the state abiding the rules enshrined in the constitution of India. It is also deeply insulting to assume that the state’s relationship with the Union is based only on a mere article than on the homogeneity of the cultural and civilisational ethos that the state and the country share.
Article 370 of the Indian constitution grants autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Article limits the legislative powers accorded to the central government to the three subjects of defence, foreign affairs and communications. Article 370 is considered to be a major impediment in the complete amalgamation of J&K with the Indian Union.
In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, there was a growing clamour from various quarters to repeal the Articles 370 and 35A. However, If the Article 370 is abrogated, politicians like Mehbooba Mufti, who are already fearing political irrelevance will lose the additional powers that the article confers upon them. It is, perhaps, this desperation of losing political relevance and the special powers under Article 370 that is causing panic among the Kashmiri politicians and forcing them to take hardline stances on matters concerning the state.
Ever since Mufti resigned from the Chief Ministership of the state, she has been giving controversial statements. After the Pulwama attack, she appeared to rationalise the Pulwama terrorist attack and instead critiqued Indian Armed Forces and the central government for having a heavy-handed approach in J&K. A few days back, she even declared in a rally that If she comes back to power in the state, bans on the proscribed groups JIE and JKLF will be lifted. JIE and JKLF are banned by the central government for their involvement in secessionist activities.