Article 370 Can't Be Revoked: Jammu And Kashmir BJP Leader

29 May 2014
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: One of the two surviving members of the J&K Constituent Assembly, which ratified Article 370 in 1951, and senior leader of the BJP's Jammu and Kashmir chapter, have joined the chorus on the law granting special status to J&K, saying that Article 370 cannot be revoked or abrogated. 'The Modi Government or any other Indian Government cannot revoke Article 370,' Ghulam Rasool Kar, one of the only two surviving members of the J&K Constituent Assembly, told Express. The Constituent Assembly of 1951 was a body of representatives elected in 1951 to write the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Kar said: 'The law is permanent and can't be revoked'. Kar, a senior Congress leader who served as minister in J&K Government between 1965 and 1971 and later between 1972 and 1975, said the Indian Government and J&K Government had signed a bilateral accord on accession of the state with India. 'The Instrument of Accession was signed between two national governments and the accord cannot be broken. If Article 370 is revoked, J&K's accession with India will come to question and the state will secede to be part of India,' he said. 'No matter how powerful the Central Government is, it cannot not abrogate Article 370. The only way they can abrogate Article 370 is by dissolving the present J&K Assembly and create a new Constituent Assembly as it existed in 1951, which is not possible,' Kar added. Meanwhile, senior leader of BJP's J&K chapter Fayaz Ahmad Bhat also told 'Express' that the special autonomous status cannot be revoked. 'Those, who are talking about revocation of Article 370 are ignorant about history. They don't know that it can only be removed by the J&K Constituent Assembly and it is not possible to reconvene that Constituent Assembly as only two of the 75-member Constituent Assembly are alive,' he said. Claiming that the BJP never talked about abrogation of the Article 370, Bhat, who unsuccessfully contested in the recently held Lok Sabha election from Srinagar-Budgam seat said, 'Narendra Modi during his visit to Jammu last year had said he favours discussion on the relevance of the law and did not say anything about its abrogation'.