Describing the attempts to trigger debates for abrogating Art. 35-A and Art. 370 of Indian constitution as based on dishonest and mischievous premises, senior National Conference leader and legislator Javed Ahmed Rana today said a commitment made by the political leadership of that time and the will of the constituent assembly of J&K to continue Art. 370 as the constitutional link between Union of India and the State of J&K must be respected and cannot be tinkered with without the will of the people of the State.The relation between the Union of India and the State of J&K is a truly federal one and was adopted consciously to acknowledge and recognize the concerns of political leadership of J&K. He said rather a larger debate must be initiated across the Union to discuss and counter the unitarian and authoritarian forces that are hell bent upon destroying the pluralistic and federal nature of Indian polity.
“Rather than attacking the truly federal nature of the relation between J&K and the Union of India, the political elites should be asking for greater financial and administrative autonomy for all the states of the Union,” he said reasoning that only a truly federal polity can reflect and represent the diverse cultures and different shades of political opinions in the country.Responding to the comments that Art. 35-A was not inserted in the Indian constitution through proper constitutional amendment, Rana said a procedural flaw in adoption of a substantive political commitment and historic understanding between the political leaderships of that time cannot be a ground to trigger a constitutional crisis now, further adding that if there is a flaw it should be rectified by the parliament rather than mischievously raking it up in the Apex court.“The present debate deliberately triggered in the court rooms and in TV studios is a desperate attempt to further the agenda of majoritarianism and elimination of diverse cultures through forced assimilation”, he charged.Referring to a series of presidential orders that have already betrayed the assurances to people of J&K, Rana said National Conference will fight any move to weaken the special federal status of Jammu and Kashmir as it will have disastrous consequences for the people of the state.