Protests were quick to erupt in Kashmir as news was in the air of article 35A being repealed from the constitution. Netizens took to Twitter to condemn the move, while some also trolled Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the RSS, blaming them for creating a political agenda.
“A non-issue is being made a big issue by those who do not have anything to talk about otherwise,” the home minister said in a press conference on Monday.
All this unrest started after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to file a quick reply in response to an NGO’s plea demanding equal rights to non-residents of the state.
The constitution under articles 35A and 370 provides special benefits to the permanent residents of Jammu, but deprives non-residents from basic rights such as buying property, getting government jobs, as well as voting in the local elections.
Rajnath Singh said in a press conference that the Center would not take any step that goes against the sentiments of the people of Kashmir.
When asked if people striking protests were affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Singh quick-wittedly replied that he didn’t want to take names. He was there as the Home Minister of the country, speaking on behalf of the BJP-led central government.
Singh is on a four-day tour to the valley addressing issues typical of J&K. On the top of his priority list are security, of which he said that situations in Kashmir are better than last year, and the debate over articles 35A and 370, among others.
Former CM of J&K Omar Abdullah tweeted that this is the right time to defend article 35A in Court and that the Union government should file an affidavit to counter the petition filed against the law which has been in existence for half a century now.
In his meeting with the home minister, Abdullah commented on the failure of the Centre to protect the personal rights and interests of its people in Kashmir.
The top court will hear the case right after Diwali, as ascertained.