If voted to power, we’ll safeguard Article 35A: Congress

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir on Wednesday stated that if their party is voted to power in the state, they will safeguard the Article 35A.

“If Congress is voted to power, we will build consensus to address the concerns as per legislation of the state. We will safeguard Article 35A,” Mir told ANI.

Mir had earlier stated that Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Satya Pal Malik, and the central government need to clarify their stance on the situation arising in connection with the upcoming municipal and panchayat elections in the state. Expressing his disillusionment, he claimed that the polls were “declared without an assessment of the ground realities”.

On September 15, Malik, speaking on Article 35A, requested all political parties to participate in the upcoming electoral exercise- Panchayat polls and municipal elections in the state.

“Matter of Article 35A is sub-judice for a long time. We had said that we can’t take a stand until a new govt is formed here. I would like to request them to participate in the election. Elections are neither for Delhi nor me but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Malik told ANI.

On Sunday, Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir, Shaleen Kabra, had announced that Panchayat elections in the state would be held in nine phases, from November 17 to December 11.
Earlier, Kabra had announced that municipal elections across the state would be held in four phases- on October 8, 10, 13 and 16.

National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party have said that they would boycott the elections unless the Centre’s stance on Article 35A is clear.

The Article disallows people from residing in Jammu and Kashmir, buying or owning immovable property in the state, settling permanently, or getting state government jobs.