No one should try to scrap Article 35A: Mani Shankar

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SRINAGAR, August 25: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Saturday said no one should attempt to scrap Article 35A of the Constitution and expressed hope that the Supreme Court would decide the matter in the “national interest”.
“I think no one should touch this issue. Article 35A is part of our Constitution and no one should make attempts to remove it,” Aiyar said on the sidelines of a seminar here titled “Discussion on Jammu and Kashmir and Indo-Pak relations” organised by Centre for Peace and Progress.
“This issue is being raked up unnecessarily which is not in anyone’s interest,” added the Congress leader, whose suspension from the basic membership of the party was recently revoked.
The former Union minister was suspended from the party after he had made a remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Gujarat Assembly elections in December last year.
Aiyar said Article 35A, which gives special rights and privileges to the natives of Jammu and Kashmir, should remain intact so that the people of the state do not feel threatened.
“I hope and it is my wish that (Article) 35A be kept in our Constitution so that people here do not feel any kind of threat that their rights, which have been there for the last 90 years, are being taken away,” Aiyar said.
“The issue is now in the Supreme Court and I hope that it will decide in the national interest,” he added.
Asked if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was raising the topic for political gains ahead of general elections next year, Aiyar said he did not want to talk about it.
He further said separatists in the valley must be included in any form of dialogue to address the Kashmir issue. (PTI)