The BJP party has cleared its position on Jammu and Kashmir through its manifesto. The party believes that the special treatment given to the state by way of Article 370 and Article 35A, is creating an obstacle in maintaining peace and prosperity in the state.
The party also believes that Article 35A is a hurdle in the development of the state. And that it will take all necessary steps to ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all the locals.
The BJP manifesto reads, "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. We will take all steps to ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all residents of the state."
The manifesto also spoke about the infamous displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s. And it promised that it will ensure a safe return of not only Kashmiri pundits, but also provide financial assistance to refugees from West Pakistan and Pakistan occupies Kashmir and Chhamb.
The manifesto reads, ‘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. We will take all steps to ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all residents of the state. We will make all efforts to ensure the safe return of Kashmiri Pandits and we will provide financial assistance for the resettlement of refugees from West Pakistan, Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) and Chhamb’.
The BJP promise on J&K stands in complete contrast with Congress Manifesto. In its manifesto, Congress has made clear that if Congress party forms the government, no changes will be made in the constitutional position on Kashmir. However, it will review and make necessary changes in AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) in order to maintain a balance between fighting terrorism and maintaining rights of the habitats of Jammu and Kashmir.
What is Article 370?
According to the Constitution of India, Article 370 provides temporary provisions to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, granting it special autonomy.
The Indian Parliament, cannot increase or decrease the borders of the state, and the state remains autonomous. J&K has its own constitution.
What is Article 35A?
Unlike other federal states of the country, by Article 35A, J&K permanent have special rights- only they can own property and land and settle in the state. The state-sponsored schemes can be enjoyed only by permanent residents. Also, if a state women married a non-permanent member, she loses all her property rights. Many such rights and privileges can be enjoyed only by the permanent members of the state.
In brief, Article 370 grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and Article 35A ensures special rights to the permanent residents of Kashmir.