Challenging Abrogation Of Article 370 In SC Might Have Been A Mistake: Sajad Lone

BB Desk
BB Desk

SRINAGAR:Challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court might have been a mistake but not doing so would have made things worse politically for the mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone has said.

The Apex Court in December last year upheld the Centre’s August 5, 2019 decision to abrogate Article 370, which bestowed a special status on the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
In an interview with PTI, Lone said the Centre could have propped up anyone to take the case to the apex court had the mainstream parties stayed away from taking legal recourse.

“I do not know, it could be,” Lone told PTI when asked whether approaching the court was a mistake as the verdict has left almost no chance of getting the special status back.
“You see we (mainstream political parties in Kashmir) could have worked together and said let us save it for a rainy day. But, that could not have stopped somebody else from going to the Supreme Court,” he added.

Lone said the Centre could have propped anyone to take the case to the court and had the mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir stayed away from taking legal recourse, it would have made things worse politically for them.
“Say tomorrow, they select someone to go to the court… Getting a court judgement is not that difficult. Our staying away would have made things worse politically for us at home.
“But, saying that there could not have been a judgement had we not gone to the court is not true either, they (Delhi) could ask a person to go to the court,” he said.

Hearing a batch of petitions filed by several political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Peoples Conference, National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, the top court held that Article 370 was a temporary provision putting a stamp on the Centre’s decision.
Lone, who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from north Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency, said he understands the importance of Parliament in the backdrop of what happened on August 5, 2019.
He said he believes that the voices of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should resonate in Parliament.
“I honestly believe that the people of J&K deserve that their voices be heard post-2019. If I am elected, I would be (that) voice,” he said.

“We live in a digital world, and Parliament is the highest, the supreme constitutional platform that you can probably have and I see it as more of a medium to communicate with the rest of the country. You have MPs from all across the country, you have a lot of untold stories of Kashmir, of the anger that is here, of the atrocities, of the wrongs.
“Of course, there are many good ones also, I am not saying that everything is wrong, but, there are many things which I believe that even the people of India, through their representatives, deserve to hear,” he added.
Lone, who is pitted against former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah in the Baramulla seat, said the NC was “fooling” the people by talking about restoring Article 370 without explaining how.

“They are not explaining how they will be able to get that identity back if the people of Kashmir will give the mandate of three seats to them. To make any big changes in the Lok Sabha, you need a two-thirds majority.
“They (NC) are a part of the INDIA bloc. Has the alliance made it clear that they will restore the identity if they get a two-thirds majority (or) that they will restore (Articles) 370 or 35A or internal autonomy?” he asked.

Lone said if the NC gets the INDIA bloc to make a public commitment to the restoration of Article 370, he will not contest the polls.
“Mark my words, if they issue a statement today, I will withdraw my (nomination) papers,” he said.
“But, if they don’t, then they (NC) should stop lying.”PTI