Jammu: The BJP on Wednesday accused former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah of "creating hype" over Article 35A and trying to divide people on regional and religious basis.
"There is nothing anti-national if any person is defending Article 35A. However Omar is creating hype on Article 35A, when the case of its legality is being heard in Supreme Court. He is trying to divide the people on the regional as well on religion basis," Jammu and Kashmir BJP spokesperson Virender Gupta said.
Reacting to Mr Abdullah's statement on Tuesday that defending the Constitution of India, to which Article 35A is integral, cannot be anti-national, Mr Gupta said continuation of the article depends on the judgement of the Supreme Court and "wishes of the people of the country as a whole".
"Article 35A is against the fundamental rights as defined in Indian Constitution. Permanent resident as defined state constitution is not only against the fundamental rights but is discriminatory against the fair sex. Such laws should not sustain and remain in any civilised country," he said.
He claimed that people of Jammu and Ladakh regions always opposed Article 35A and Article 370 right from the day of their inception in the Constitution.
"These were incorporated in Indian Constitution by (former Prime Minister) Jawaharlal Nehru to please and placate the Kashmiri leadership without taking people of Jammu region and Ladakh into confidence. These articles may have been helpful to establish the autocracy of Kashmiri leaders and to satisfy their whims, whereas the common man of the valley has suffered and has remained aggrieved," he said.
The spokesperson said the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions have mostly suffered because of Article 370 and 35A.
"They were discriminated against in services, administration and development activities. They have been being treated as second class citizens. The identity and demography of the Jammu and Ladakh regions are meeting serious challenges from the valley leadership," he alleged.
In reply to Mr Abdullah's charge that PDP betrayed the trust of the valley while joining alliance with the BJP, Mr Gupta said it equally applies to National Conference when it joined the government at the Centre led by then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee.
"Performance of the present government is far better than the previous government led by Omar. Many-fold development activities took place and are being pursued at present," he said.