JAMMU: In an embarrassment to the BJP government, a party legislator from Jammu and Kashmir has snubbed the party’s stand on Article 35A and warned that scrapping the constitutional provision with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha election could lead to serious consequences.
If the state residency law is scrapped, the youth will pick up guns and stones, said Gagan Bhagat, BJP MLA from RS Pura while addressing a public meet in his constituency on Saturday.
“Article 35A should not be scrapped. If it is scrapped, then there will be no jobs for J&K youth and educated youth won’t even get private jobs. If a person wants to purchase a land, he won’t get it,” the MLA said in his address, the video of which has gone viral on social media.
For the past two years, while our government was fighting the case legally in court , I stood alone in this political battle emphasising that any dilution of Article 35 A will set the state on fire. 1/2— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) August 11, 2018
Bhagat said if today a marla of land is sold for Rs 1 lakh, its price would increase 10 times overnight if the state residency law is scrapped. “Our people don’t have the money to compete with outsiders. The rich men from Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and other states will come and purchase land here.”
Asserting that people of Jammu would be worst hit by scrapping of Article 35A, BJP MLA said, “People in the country know that there is militancy in Kashmir and nobody will like to go to Valley. If 35A is removed, people from outside will purchase land in Jammu and they will become owner of our land and Dogras and other people of Jammu will be wiped off”.
Today I feel relieved that regardless of political views or affliations , we are all on the same page as far as protecting the special status of J&K is concerned. 2/2— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) August 11, 2018
The lawmaker said people in Kashmir are fighting “our battle while people in Jammu on social media are calling for its abrogation. Jammu people don’t know that they will be worst affected if this law is scrapped”.
“If Article 35A is removed, the Jammuites will neither have jobs nor business. When there will be no business in Jammu, people will take up gun and pelt stones,” he said.
Bhagat said the gun did not come to Kashmir in one day. “A youth is being harassed by security men and he has no jobs. He is left with no option but to take up gun”.