National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah today claimed there were "clear indications" that a "long-existing lobby" in New Delhi was "reinventing its mission to erode" Jammu and Kashmir’s internal autonomy and asserted that his party would safeguard the State’s political rights and special status.
"I have personally witnessed how a long-existing lobby in New Delhi has used pliant leaders and regimes in the State to erode Article 370 and rob the State of its constitutionally guaranteed internal autonomy – one step at a time.
"This is a chronicle of betrayals and breach of faith that started with the deposition and incarceration of (NC founder and former Chief Minister) Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and continues to this day," Abdullah said, addressing a day-long lawyers’ conclave organized by the party’s legal cell here.
Abdullah claimed that at every juncture in the history, the "lobby" in New Delhi has "used pliant leaders and co-opting regimes in the State to inflict irrevocable damage on Article 370".
"Today we see the efforts of this lobby manifest in the form of the extension of NFSA and NEET to the State, while the PDP-BJP Government is peddling an 'Industrial Policy' which is glaringly conspicuous in its ambiguity on the question of non-State-subject investors and promoters.
"What others did between 1953 and 1975, PDP is following suit and re-enacting the same master-servant opportunistic relationship that has wreaked havoc with our State," he said.
"Mehbooba should draw lessons from history and see how the people have first disowned and then completely forgotten those pliant leaders who connived against the State’s political rights to remain in power.
"This tragic silence by those in power on recurring efforts to discredit and disarm the State’s institutions by openly trespassing even into categories those clearly fall in the State List can spell doom for the State," he said.
Abdullah, the former chief minister of the state, said there is a "larger, more sinister plan to destroy Article 370" by rendering it "irrelevant" and the legal fraternity is duty-bound to remain vigilant and fight against this subversion of the political rights and honour of the people of the state.
On this occasion, the NC Legal Cell passed a resolution pledging to safeguard the State’s Special Status as provided in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution at all costs and to foil all efforts being engineered to erode the autonomy available to the State.