Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday lambasted BJP president Amit Shah over his recent statement that Article 35A of the Constitution which grants special rights and privileges, including owning immovable property, jobs and scholarships to permanent residents of the state will be abrogated by 2020.
She said, “He has said Article 35A will go in 2020. Then that year will also be Jammu and Kashmir’s deadline to the country,” she said while speaking to reporters after filing her nominations to seek election to Lok Sabha from home constituency Anantnag.
She also criticised senior Congress leader and former Union minister and Sadar-e-Riyasat (head of the state) of J&K Dr Karan Singh for his assertion that the special status to the State was offered by the Government of India in difficult circumstances and was not there to guarantee its Muslim majority character. “Karan Singh’s father Maharaja Hari Singh had himself laid the foundation of Article 370. Today, he is singing a different tune,” she said.
After filing her nomination paper for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, Ms. Mufti tweeted, “Filed my nomination from Anantnag constituency for #LokSabha2019. Was overcome with emotion since this is the first election Ill contest without my father’s guidance & support. But am confident that my people will restore their faith in PDP. It’s an honour to fight for them.”
National Conference’s Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi and J&KPCC chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir also filed nomination papers from Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency. BJP candidate Sofi Mohammad Yousuf has already filed his nomination papers. Two independent candidates have also filed their nominations since the Election Commission issued notification for the third phase of polls on March 28.
The last date for filing of nominations is April 4, while scrutiny of nominations will be held on April 5. The last date for withdrawal o fcandidature is April 8. Voting for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, spread over four south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, will be held on 23 April (for Anantnag district), 29 April (for Kulgam district) and 6 May (for Pulwama and Shopian districts). The counting of votes will be taken up on May 23.