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'Modi can't repeal Article 370 even if he becomes PM for 10 terms'

December 03, 2013 13:44 IST

Slamming Narendra Modi over his call for a debate on the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah has said that if the Bharatiya Janata Party leader becomes the prime minister even for "ten terms", he will not be able to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution.

"Even if Modi becomes PM ten times, he will not be able to do away with Article 370. You talk of debate, the BJP does not indulge in any debate," Farooq told reporters in New Delhi.

Faroq’s son and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah accused the BJP of "diverting" attention from Modi who "knowingly or unknowingly misled the people," on the issue of residency of women marrying outside the state.

Omar was responding to BJP's claim that the National Conference had "enthusiastically" supported the bill in the state legislature brought by the then ruling PDP, which sought to withdraw the status of a permanent resident from a woman who married outside the state.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley, in a blog post on Monday, wrote that after the People's Democratic Party formed the government in the state in alliance with the Congress in 2002, it introduced 'The Jammu and Kashmir Resident (Disqualification) Bill 2004', which was "enthusiastically" supported by the NC.

In a series of Tweets, Omar retorted, saying, "That NC supported a bill that would have continued the discriminatory framework against women some years ago is a fact, no denying that. (But) In power for five years now, NC has made no attempt to revive that bill nor has any intention to, is also a fact that can't be denied."

He said the issue was not what his party did or did not do, but that Modi had got his facts "wrong" at his rally in Jammu on Sunday and "now the BJP is diverting attention".

"That Mr Modi was knowingly or unknowingly misleading the people on this issue is a fact that can't be denied, whatever Jaitley says," Omar said.

He also hit out at "self-appointed experts" appearing on TV shows to debate Article 370, asking them to read the provision of the Constitution guaranteeing special status to the state before forming an opinion on it.

"Dear self-appointed Kashmir experts appearing on TV channels to debate Art 370 PLEASE read Art 370 before forming an opinion about it," Omar wrote on Twitter.

The chief minister and the BJP have been engaged in a war of words since Modi said there should be a debate on whether Article 370 had benefited the state.

Modi had said his party wanted a discussion on various aspects of the constitutional provision, while Omar had maintained that the Gujarat CM was "badly-informed or lying" on the issue.

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