Article 35A Denies People Of J&K A Booming Economy, Economic Activity And Jobs, Says Jaitley


New Delhi:  Finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a blog that the “constitutionally vulnerable” Article 35A has denied the people of the state of Jammu & Kashmir a booming economy, economic activity and jobs, even as he cautioned Opposition parties in the state for being “being soft in criticizing separatism”.

He also said most Indians believe that the Nehruvian course, which the State had embarked, was a “historical blunder”

Jaitley wrote that Article 35A was “surreptitiously included” in the Indian Constitution in 1954 and the law allows the State Government to discriminate between citizens. He pointed out that millions of Indians in J&K vote in Lok Sabha elections but not in other polls. “Their children cannot get government jobs. They cannot own property and their children cannot get admitted to governmental institutions. The heirs of ladies marrying outside the State are disinherited from owing or inheriting property,” he added.

Article 35A, part of the constitutional special status granted to the state restricts property ownership and other benefits to the state’s domiciled residents.

The finance minister also said that due to Article 35A, the state does not have adequate financial resources and that its ability to raise more funds are crippled.

“No investor is willing to set up an industry, hotel, private educational institutions or private hospitals since he can neither buy land or property; nor can his executives. Their wards cannot get government jobs or admission to colleges. This prevents enrichment, resource generation and job creation,” Jaitley said.

Article 35A has become the subject of a fierce political debate between the BJP and the Opposition parties. The BJP and some of its affiliates want the article to be diluted while the Opposition has warned the government against what it has termed a misadventure.

Reacting to Jaitley’s comment, NC vice-president and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said that if everything is J&K is so rosy “why has Modi Sahib become the 1st PM since 1996 unable to have assembly elections in the state on time?” He also vowed to protect Article 35A and Article 370.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir alleged that under BJP-rule the state has witnessed erosion in everything. “Since BJP came to power situation turned bad and people are fed up with the BJP. Our party has given Article 35A and 370 and will defend it.

BJP has no real issues so they are raising these issues,” he said. Suhail Bukhari, media advisor to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, maintained that the PDP’s stand on the issue of 35A and 370 is clear.



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