With releasing its manifesto today, BJP maintained its stand on scrapping Article 370 and 35 A of the Constitution, which implies giving Jammu and Kashmir its special status. The party also said that it remains committed to ensuring that Kashmiri Pandits return to the Kashmir Valley.
Article 35A defines permanent residents of the state and excludes outsiders from owning property and getting benefits including government jobs.
Article 370 is an extension of Article 35A, which allows the state its own constitution, flag and the right to handle its own laws except on matters that impact national security.
"We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370. We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir. We believe that Article 35A is an obstacle in the development of the state," the manifesto read.
Removal of the two articles has been a part of the BJP's core ideology which has been so since the time of Jan Sangh but the issue grabbed the headlines in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack as part of the backlash against Kashmiris.
Article 35A has united all the political parties of Kashmir as it has been challenged in the Supreme Court. To register their protest, all mainstream parties in the Kashmir Valley had boycotted the panchayat elections in the state last year.
Meanwhile, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah has dared the saffron party to touch either Article, claiming that the moment it happens, "the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India will end". Abdullah alleged that if these articles are supposed to be temporary, then even the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India was temporary.