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No one should try to tinker with Article 35-A: Aiyar

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Srinagar: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar today said no one should attempt to scrap Article 35-A of the Constitution and expressed hope that the Supreme Court would decide the matter in the “national interest”.

“I think no one should touch this issue. Article 35-A is part of our Constitution and no one should make attempts to remove it,” Aiyar said here on the sidelines of a seminar titled “Discussion on Jammu and Kashmir and Indo-Pak relations” organised by Centre for Peace and Progress.

“This issue is being raked up unnecessarily which is not in anyone’s interest,” added the Congress leader, whose suspension from the basic membership of the party was recently revoked.

The former Union minister was suspended from the party after he had made a remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Gujarat Assembly elections in December last year.

Aiyar said Article 35-A, which gives special rights and privileges to the natives of Jammu and Kashmir, should remain intact so that the people of the state do not feel threatened.

“I hope and it is my wish that (Article) 35-A be kept in our Constitution so that people here do not feel any kind of threat that their rights, which have been there for the last 90 years, are being taken away,” Aiyar said.

“The issue is now in the Supreme Court and I hope that it will decide in the national interest,” he added.

Asked if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was raising the topic for political gains ahead of general elections next year, Aiyar said he did not want to talk about it.

He further said separatists in the Valley must be included in any form of dialogue to address the Kashmir issue. (With PTI Inputs)

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