The controversy over Jammu and Kashmir’s Article 35A is doing more harm to the PDP and BJP coalition government than anything else including death of hundreds of civilians in last one year in agitations and stone pelting incidents. The CM Mehbooba Mufti and Central government are sitting opposite sides on the issue.
The Article 35A stipulates no one except the permanent residents will be allowed to settle in Kashmir permanently or buy any immoveable property or avail a government job or scholarship or any aid. The Article is an agreement accepted in 1952 between the Indian government and Kashmir government and was later included in the constitution in 1954 by a presidential order.
As per the Article, permanent residents were the settled citizens residing in the state before 1911 or lawfully acquired immoveable property for not less than 10 years before to the time of implementation.
An NGO in 2014 filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging Article 35A on the point that it was unlawfully added to the constitution as it was never placed on the floor of Parliament.
Present state CM Mehbooba Mufti, a PDP leader said that her party maintained a stern position on Article 370 and not going to compromise on this. While the partner in the government, BJP always supports the idea to repeal Article 370 and thus Article 35A also.
The central government too wants to explore this issue before the public at larger scale and through the discussions and debates first. This is why the Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court that the government wants a larger debate over the issue.
The Supreme Court of India soon going to discuss this issue before a large bench of judges as the matter is very sensitive for Kashmir residents as well as rest of Indians.