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Mehbooba to meet PM on Art 35-A amid heightened tension in PDP-BJP alliance

Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2017 (11:18 IST)
New Delhi: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief and Jammu and Chief Minister is all set to meet Prime Minister Narendra on the contentious Article 35-A and the cold war between the BJP and its partner has definitely brought the alliance under stress. The debate surrounding the Constitution's Article 35A is slowly turning up into a major legal and constitutional law following a petition filed in the that has sought the abrogation of the article.

The said Article pressed into action through a gives powers to the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state and their privileges. In the process, 'Indians' from the rest of the country and even Kashmiri women married outside their caste to an Indian residing in other parts of India cannot purchase land in Jammu and Kashmir.
The petition filed in the Supreme Court seeking abrogation of Article 35A maintains that the presidential order was not ratified by Parliament and hence it did not have the legitimacy. "The President of India cannot exercise the powers to amend the Constitution which is the sole prerogative of Parliament," says the petition. While PDP has opposed the petition outright, the Jammu and Kashmir government contested the petition saying the President has the power to incorporate a new provision in the Constitution by way of an order, the BJP-led NDA regime has requested the Supreme Court to refer the matter to a larger bench.

In fact, two diametrically opposite parties the BJP and the PDP have their respective argument to differ on the law - that came into existence through the Presidential order of May 14, 1954. The BJP leaders say the law is "discriminatory" in more ways than one as it also does not recognise 'woman' married out of her caste and settled outside the state as bonafide citizen. "But at the same time, it is friendly towards a Kashmiri who had migrated to Pakistan.
The law says all persons born or settled within the state before 1911 or after having lawfully acquired immovable property resident in the state are entitled. Even emigrants from Jammu and Kashmir, including those who migrated to Pakistan, are considered state subjects. Even the descendants of emigrants are considered state subjects for two generations," a party leader told UNI. On the other hand, the PDP leaders have suggested that any debate on the validity of Article 35A must necessarily include the larger debate over - that guarantees "special status" to the state and this is something "agreed to adhere to and respect". (UNI)
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