35-A case shouldn’t proceed until J&K has elected Govt: Omar

‘Political parties demand shifting of ASG’

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Sept 13: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that the politicians who participated in an All-Party Meeting have called for shifting of Additional Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, from Article 35-A case for “going beyond his brief”.
Omar said this while briefing the reporters soon after the All Party Meeting called by former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah at his Gupkar residence.

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Omar said the meet was called this morning by Dr Farooq Abdullah in which leaders of the Valley participated to take a stock of security and political situation. “All the leaders in unison decided that the ASG has crossed his brief. Even the State Government has accepted this. So we don’t trust him. We have all decided that Tushar Mehta should be taken off the [Article 35A] case when this comes up in January for hearing,” said Omar.
The NC leader said Mehta was sent to defend the State and the Article 35-A case as he was representing State Government and not the Central Government. “We don’t trust him anymore. We demand that the lawyers who were defending it earlier must be brought back to defend the case,” he said.
Omar said Jammu and Kashmir State is under Central’s rule and people of Jammu and Kashmir are yet to know the stand of Union Government over the issue of article 35-A. “We all know State is under Governor’s rule, which is directly under Central Government’s control. Since we don’t know the position of the Central Government on Article 35-A issue, we have apprehensions regarding the defence of the case in Supreme Court. We demand that the case should not proceed until J&K has an elected Government,” he said.
“We have also decided that we will write to government that we would want elections to take place first so that there is elected government in the Valley and then this case can be defended,” Omar said.
The NC leader said” “It is the Centre who linked the issue of 35-A with the upcoming elections. The Center deferred the hearing because of the elections”, he said
On boycott of Panchayat and Municipal elections, Omar said the NC has not asked people to boycott. “But if Government thinks without participation of two major parties any election is worth. Let them go ahead,” he added.
The former Chief Minister said every citizen of the State is in favour of Article 35-A. “The shopkeepers who have not observed shutdown for the last several years closed their shops over the issue. Every citizen of the State is with the Article 35 A. Even some MLAs of BJP has publicly talked in its favour”, Omar said.
During the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court, the ASG had said that Article 35-A and certain aspects needed to be debated upon and said, “It can’t be denied that there is an aspect of gender discrimination in it (Article 35A)”.
Earlier, Dr Farooq Abdullah presided over a meeting of prominent politicians from various political parties at his Gupkar residence in Srinagar. The meeting was attended by NC vice president Omar Abdullah, general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Senior leader Abdul Rahim Rather, Mohammad Shafi Uri, senior Congress leader Taj Mohiuddin, CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami and DPN president Ghulam Hassan Mir.