MUMBAI: After the BJP’s good performance in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly election, the party’s mother organisation, the RSS, is likely to dilute its stand on the controversial Article 370 of the Constitution. The RSS may focus on removing Article 35 (A) instead of 370.
A senior RSS official Arun Kumar recently claimed at a function that it was Article 35 (A), not Article 370, that barred citizens from the rest of the country from settling in J&K.
“The President had ordered to include 35 (A) in the Constitution in May 1954 without the Parliament’s approval. It was the interpretation of Article 370 that does not give any special status to J&K. The President’s order is the biggest political cheating in the country,” Kumar said.
According to Kumar, Article 35 (A) is a result of the 1952 Delhi Accord signed between then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah.
Kumar, head of RSS backed J&K Study Centre, claimed if Article 35 (A) was removed, the citizens from the rest of the country would be able to settle in J&K. “Article 35 (A) defines the Permanent Resident Citizens (PRC) of J&K. It does not even give a status of PRC to refugees who had come to the state from the area, known as Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir today. The Article allows only PRCs to settle in the State.”
A senior RSS official said the organisation was planning to highlight the facts underlined by Kumar. “There is a need to change the discourse regarding J&K. We want to bring J&K into the national stream. If Article 370 does not give special status to the State we will not insist on its abolition. Arun Kumarji is a senior leader. If he is talking about removal of Article 35 (A), we will toe his line,” the official said.
Interestingly, Article 370, Common Civil Code and Ram temple in Ayodhya are the core issues for the RSS.
The BJP had not highlighted the Article 370 in its election campaign in J&K. The Congress and other national parties have already expressed their objection to removal of article 370.