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"Abrogation of Article 370 harmed relation between J-K and rest of country": Omar Abdullah

Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir): National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Wednesday unleashed an attack against the BJP-led Central government, saying that it harmed the relation between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country with its decision of abrogating the Article 370 provisions.

The NC leader, while speaking to media persons here, said that no one there was happy with the decision to revoke the special status of the erstwhile state.

"There is no doubt that they did it and they have hurt the sentiments of people while doing it. The promises made to Jammu and Kashmir were not promises made by one leader sitting in Delhi or a party, but it was the country that made promises to the people of J-K. The bond was not between a person in Delhi and JK, it was a link between a country with this state," Abdullah said.

He further said that people will show their unhappiness with the decisions when assembly elections are held in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The bond was not between a person in Delhi and J-K, it was a link between a country with this state. If they think that harming this bond deserves congratulations, then let them congratulate each other. The truth is that people in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are not happy with the steps taken on August 5, 2019. This was proved in Kargil (LAHDC polls). It was proved in DDC (District Development Council) polls and if they conduct assembly elections here, it would be proved again," he added.

Hitting out at the Centre for not conducting the elections in the region, Omar Abdullah alleged that a fixed match is being played.

"It is the right of people of J-K to use their vote and elect their leaders. We are being kept away from this. A fixed match is being played - when you ask the Election Commission (about elections in J-K), it points at the Centre, and when we ask the Centre, it points towards EC," the NC leader said.

Further asserting that the delay in holding assembly elections in the Union territory was taking Jammu and Kashmir on the path to destruction, Abdullah said that people of the region are being deprived of their right to vote.

"It's taking the region towards destruction. People have been deprived of their right to vote since 2014," he said.

This comes on a day when a debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill is taking place in the Lok Sabha.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the two bills on Jammu and Kashmir moved for approval in the Lok Sabha pertain to providing rights to those who faced injustice and were insulted and ignored.

The Home Minister further said that bills seek to give justice to those who were forced to become refugees in their own country.

"I am glad that throughout the whole discussion and debate over the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill 2023, no member opposed the 'tattva' (substance) of the Bill."

He said there is a huge difference between giving rights and giving rights respectfully

"The Bill that I have brought here pertains to bringing justice to and providing rights to those against whom injustice was done, who were insulted and those who were ignored. In any society, those who are deprived should be brought forward. That is the basic sense of the Constitution of India. But they have to be brought forward in a way that doesn't reduce their respect. There is a huge difference between giving rights and giving rights respectfully. So, instead of weak and deprived category renaming it to Other Backward Class is important," he said.

The Centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5, 2019, soon after the second term of the PM Modi-led government began.

Included in the Constitution on October 17, 1949, Article 370 exempts J-K from the Indian Constitution (except Article 1 and Article 370 itself) and permits the state to draft its own Constitution. (ANI)

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