Srinagar| Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today said defending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was not confined to a particular region or religion anymore as the people of the state have realised its importance and sanctity. She was referring to the reports of two of BJP MLAs from Jammu region coming out in support of Article 35-A, which is facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.
“Heartening to know that two MLAs from BJP, Rajesh Gupta followed by Dr Gagan (Bhagat), have raised their voice in defence of Article 35-A. Defending the special status of J-K is not confined to a region or religion anymore. People of the state have realised its importance & (and) sanctity,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.
The former chief minister said while her government had fought the case legally in the Supreme Court, she “stood alone” in the political battle emphasising that any dilution of Article 35-A would set the state on fire.
“Today I feel relieved that regardless of political views or affiliations, we are all on the same page as far as protecting the special status of J-K is concerned,” Mehbooba wrote.
The Supreme Court had, on August 6, said that a three-judge bench would decide whether the pleas challenging Article 35-A should be referred to a five-judge Constitution bench for examining the larger issue of alleged violation of the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A Khanwilkar had adjourned the crucial hearing on as many as five petitions “to the week commencing from August 27” on the grounds that they pertained to the challenge to a Constitutional scheme and could not be heard as the third judge, Justice D Y Chandrachud, was not present on that day.