Omar defends statement on wazir-e-azam

Srinagar, Apr 2 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/2/2019 12:58:57 PM IST

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Tuesday defended his statement that his party would strive hard for restoring the terms of accession of Jammu and Kashmir, including the provisions for having a sadr-e-riyasat (president) and wazir-e-azam in the state and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go through history how Jammu and Kashmir became part of India.

At a rally in north Kashmir’s Pattan town, the former J&K chief minister said the demand about Prime Minister and sadr-e-riyasat was nothing new. He said that a host of BJP leaders have been attacking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“First, Finance minister Arun Jaitley wrote on Facebook that 35A should be removed, then BJP president, Amit Shah in a television interview said that it is BJP’s old promise to scrap Article 35A. And whatever was left, PM Naredra Modi in his speech at Andhra Pradesh made my speech in Bandipore famous throughout the country and world.”

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent resident” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents which are excluded for non-permanent residents

Asking Prime Minister to go through history of the country, Omar said. “Modi sahib, you should read the history of this country and what were the circumstances under which J&K became a part of India. The demand for PM and sadr-e-riyasat for J&K is not new. It is in our constitution on which Prime Minister had taken oath, the same constitution has given us a separate map, flag and a separate constitution.’’

Later speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the rally, Omar Abdullah said that J&K had its own Prime minister and sadr-e-riyasat till 1965. “Whatever I spoke about is part of the constitution.”

Omar Abdullah said that he had not said anything wrong. “I have only repeated truth. Even on behalf of the National Conference, I haven’t said anything different, when I was minister in the NDA under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then also our stand was same on this issue. That time also we were talking about autonomy and demanding pre-1953 position. If that time I was right, how come this is wrong this time? Our stand has never changed as we are seeking restoration of internal autonomy of this state and pre-1953 position. We want to restore conditions of accession of J&K with India.’’

Omar’s pitch for wazir-e-azam had angered Prime Minister Narendra Modi who dismissed the demand, tweeting that as long as he was alive, no one can divide India.



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