- Omar Abdullah met Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik
- He said Governor assured special status won't be scrapped
- Mr Abdullah asked the government to clarify position in parliament
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, after a meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik this afternoon, asked the centre to make a statement in parliament on the state's special status designation. Meeting reporters after the meeting, Mr Abdullah said the governor had assured him special status would not be scrapped, but insisted that it was the government that needed to clarify the its position on Article 35A.
"He (the governor) assured us that there was no movement on (repealing) Article 370 or Article 35A or delimitation (of constituencies in the state). However, the governor is not the final word on Jammu and Kashmir. The Government of India is. So we want to hear from the government in parliament," Mr Abdullah said.
Article 35A allows the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define who is and who is not a permanent resident of the state. It also grants residents of special rights and privileges, such as the right to own property in the state.
Omar Abdullah also expressed concern over the build-up of troops in the Kashmir Valley; the centre moved 25,000 troops to the region on Thursday, less than a week after 10,000 soldiers were dispatched.
The governor, in his meeting with Mr Adbullah today, said troop movements were the result of a serious security situation in the state and pointed to yesterday's Amarnath Yatra travel advisory, which came shortly after the Army said terrorists backed by the Pakistan army were planning attacks.
"What they are saying does make sense when you look at things in an isolated manner. Yes... troops are rotated. Yes... the current columns of troops have been here for over six months. So what they are saying does make sense. But collectively along with these orders, it has caused some distress," Mr Adullah said.
Yesterday's travel advisory has caused a degree of panic in the state, with tourists rushing to the airport to leave and residents lining up at department stores, ATMs and pharmacies to stock up on food, water and essentials Petrol pumps also witnessed a huge rush; some waited for hours only to find fuel supplies were exhausted.
"It is in nobody's interest to see a tensed Jammu and Kashmir. It is in everyone's interest to see a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir and I am sure the government wants that to," he added.
Earlier, Omar Abdullah and a National Conference delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The delegation had called on the Prime Minister to refrain from upsetting the fragile situation in the Kashmir Valley. The delegation also asked PM Modi to hold state polls by year-end.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor's Rule since the BJP ended its short-lived ruling alliance with Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party last year.