Amid massive outcry over Article 35A in insurgency-hit Jammu and Kashmir, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday, September 19, in three-day conclave event said that the Right-wing outfit does not accept Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Chief Election Officer of Jammu and Kashmir Shaleen Kabra issued a notification for carrying out the first phase of municipal elections in the state, which is going to be carried out in 4 phases. 

Article 35A is a constitutional provision which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir assembly to define permanent residents of the state, and grants special rights, privileges to these permanent residents/citizens. On August 31, the Supreme Court deferred hearing of a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A to January next year, saying the hearing would affect law and order situation in the state ahead of panchayat and urban local body polls.

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Meanwhile, the regional parties in the Valley, People’s Democratic Party and National Conference in a press conference, recently declared that they will boycott polls as the Centre has not cleared its position on Article 35A.

A report The Wire said many religious minorities, including Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and Christians are in favour of Article 35A.

They attacked the ruling party by saying if the BJP thinks it will win 2019 polls by scrapping Article 35A “they were living in a fool’s paradise”. 

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