Congress says will fight for restoration of Article 370 with constitutional guarantees

Ahead of the first anniversary of the revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state into two Union Territories (UTs), state Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir described revocation of the constitutional provision as “worst-ever decision” and demanded that J&K’s statehood with constitutional guarantees be restored.

Mir said Congress would fight for the restoration of state with constitutional guarantees.

Asked what he meant by constitutional guarantees, he said, “J&K had got special status and that should be restored. We want it back. J&K parties should be consulted and taken into confidence on what kind of constitutional guarantees should be provided to J&K”.

“But unfortunately, Government of India has not taken any call in this regard so far,” Mir said.

The National Conference leader and former CM Omar Abdullah had announced that he would not contest elections till statehood to J&K was restored.

On August 5 last year, Centre scrapped Article 370 and split J&K into two UTs — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“The Modi government had told the Parliament that revocation of Article 370 will lead to an increase in employment in J&K. How much employment has increased…. In fact, jobs have been snatched from many,” he said.

The J&K Congress chief said Centre had also said militancy will be controlled. “Everybody knows what was the situation in 2019 and how it (militancy) is now”.

Mir said the Modi government had claimed that trade would increase and new avenues will be opened in education sector. “The reality is that trade has been badly hit since August 5, 2019, while all educational institutions are closed for the last 11 months. Even nursery classes have not opened”.