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Omar Abdullah vows to ‘keep struggle alive’ for Article 370: ‘Supreme Court’s stamp does not close issue’

The Centre had abrogated Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019 in a historic move. The National Conference and PDP have been demanding its restoration and have vowed to "keep the struggle alive" until it happens.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Srinagar Published on: April 13, 2024 19:48 IST
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Image Source : PTI National Conference leader Omar Abdullah

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Noting that Narendra Modi will not remain the Prime Minister forever, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Saturday (April 13) said that his party will keep the issue of Article 370 alive till a dispensation comes at the Centre which is willing to discuss the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the Supreme Court’s “stamp” upholding the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to erstwhile state of J-K, “does not close the issue”.

"This government will not remain forever. There is no power on earth that can keep Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi in office in perpetuity, there is no power on earth that can keep the BJP in office forever. Every government has a finite term, some are longer, some are shorter. Why would you assume that no government will come in future that will be unwilling to talk to us on Article 370," Abdullah said.

SC verdict on Article 370 unfortunate: Omar Abdullah

Abdullah, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency, termed the Supreme Court’s verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the article’s abrogation as “unfortunate”.

"I would like to believe that there will be a government in the future that will be happy to engage with us on our core issues of the special status of J-K and until that comes, we will keep our struggle alive," he said.

"We will continue to fight for it and struggle for it. A stamp of the SC does not close the issue, because if a stamp closes the issue, then we had a stamp on Article 370 much before this one and the SC found in favour of Article 370. So, yes, the recent judgement is unfortunate, but that won't stop our political fight," the former J-K chief minister said.

Opposition with NC over Article 370: Omar Abdullah

He said that there are several Opposition parties which resonate with the NC’s demand for the restoration of Article 370.

"Even now we have friends who talk in favour of the restoration of 370, whether it is in Tamil Nadu or West Bengal or the Left. We have friends outside of J-K who see eye to eye with us on the issue of 370," he added.

He said just like the BJP did not stop talking about the abrogation of Article 370 even when it had two Lok Sabha members in the 1984 elections, his party will continue to talk about the restoration of the special status.

"When the BJP was reduced to two members of Parliament after the victory of Rajiv Gandhi following the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi, did the BJP stop? It kept talking about 370 despite setbacks in court. So, our struggle (also) will not end," he said.

Omar Abdullah bats for talks with Pakistan

Omar Abdullah said both India and Pakistan should create conditions conducive to the resumption of dialogue.
Abdullah hit out at those saying India should use force to take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and asserted that when push comes to shove, the final mile is always crossed through dialogue.
"Let me put it this way, you will not get a solution to any problem through just the use of force. Ultimately, when push comes to shove, the final mile is always crossed through dialogue," Abdullah said.

(With PTI inputs)

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