Tinkering with Art 370 is like playing with fire: Abdullah
Srinagar: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah Thursday said those who are trying to repeal articles 370 and 35-A of the Constitution, which guarantee special status to Jammu and Kashmir, are playing with fire.
"The need of the hour is to douse these flames and not to add fuel to the fire," Abdullah said, addressing a poll campaign rally at Devsar in Kulgam district.
The forme chief minister asserted that no one can subdue Kashmiris.
“History bears the testimony to the fact that no one was able to enslave Kashmiris. We have fought Mughals, Pathans and other despotic regimes and never let anyone subdue us.
"New Delhi will have our respect, only if they respect the people of this state. No one should dare tinker with our self esteem for the Kashmiris have always responded to the brickbats thrown at them with determination,” he said.
Cautioning the people against forces inimical to the state's special status, Abdullah said the forces which have been inimical to the state's special status come in different hues and colors trying to destroy it.
"Kashmiris, however, have never allowed such forces to succeed in their nefarious designs; today the situation is no different. Today we see the BJP-RSS cheekily taking vows to destroy the identity and integrity of our state,” he said.
He added that articles 370 and 35-A protect the state natives rights to jobs, land holdings and scholarships.
"Any move to scuttle the articles will have far reaching consequences on the people of the state. So it is imperative for the people across the state, in particular the people of south Kashmir to vote. Every vote you cast will set the recourse of our state for the next half a decade," he added.
The former chief minister said the people of Kashmir can tackle their problems only through ballots and not guns.
“The problem cannot be resolved by using guns or pelting stones. It is only through the use of vote that the people of Kashmir can find a way forward.
"The gun culture has only added to the miseries of the people and made us susceptible to the machinations of those who are inimical to our identity. The people have to forge unity and come in large numbers to vote in order to save the identity, integrity, pluralistic visage and special constitutional status of our state,” he said.