Omar Abdullah said, 'To maintain our identity distinct(ly), we entered certain things in the Constitution. We said our identity would be ours, we will have our own law, our own flag. At that time we also had our President and Prime Minister, and we will bring that back.'
Srinagar/ New Delhi: National Conference chief Omar Abdullah has sparked a massive controversy by demanding a 'separate Prime Minister' for Jammu and Kashmir. He made the sensational remark on Monday while talking about Articles 370 and 35A and their handling by the ruling BJP.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said, "Modi said in an interview that by 2020 we will repeal Article 35A. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had threatened us that Article 35A and Article 370 will be removed, but Jammu and Kashmir is not like the other states. Other states became a part of India without any condition. We made conditions. We did not come for free."
Playing to the galleries and showcasing his anti-India stance, Abdullah said, "To maintain our identity distinct(ly), we entered certain things in the Constitution. We said our identity would be ours, we will have our own law, our own flag. At that time we also had our President and Prime Minister, and we will bring that back."
The National Conference chief's remarks come soon after confusion and rumour that the Centre may partially scrap Article 35A, something that the Jammu and Kashmir governor rubbished in a press conference.
Abdullah's statement comes in retaliation to BJP chief Amit Shah's claim that if the BJP comes to power, Articles 370 and 35A would be abolished in Jammu and Kashmir by 2020.
Jaitley had called Article 35A a 'historic blunder' committed by Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister. Abdullah targeted Jaitley's statement while addressing to National Conference workers. He said that given the stance of the Union government, it calls for the state's own Prime Minister and President.
While it may have left the National Conference workers cheering for Abdullah, it has certainly not gone down well with other political outfits from the Valley and of course from the rest of the country. People's Conference chairman Sajjad Lone has called the National Conference chief a "liar". He said that the erosion of Article 370 was committed mainly under Abdullah's leadership. Lone accused Abdullah of "lying through his teeth".Last Updated 1, Apr 2019, 8:17 PM IST