BJP general secretary Ram Madhav says some organisations like the RSS believe that Article 35A was ‘illegally’ inserted in the Constitution.

New Delhi: The BJP will not take any initiative to form the government in Jammu & Kashmir and would like Governor’s rule to continue for “some more time”, party general secretary in-charge of the state, Ram Madhav, has told ThePrint.

His remarks come in the backdrop of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti warning that if the BJP tries to form the government by breaking her party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — with the help of rebel MLAs — it will have a “dangerous outcome” for the state.

“We are, right now, only keen that Governor’s rule continues for some more time,”  Madhav said in an interview, explaining that his party withdrew from the Mufti-led PDP-BJP government in June because of a “huge governance deficit” in the state, especially in the Valley.

“In Jammu, we still had our ministers who were roaming around and governance was visible. But it was absent in the Valley, which was leading to many more problems,” he said.

Madhav cited two other reasons for the withdrawal: “Growing corruption” in the state administration and the BJP and “the entire Cabinet” being ignored in the decision-making process.

“We tried to correct it but we realised it was no longer tenable. The new administration under the Governor must improve on all these counts. We feel that some more time is needed for things to improve.”

‘Other groupings’

Madhav also said that with two-and-a-half years left of the current Assembly, if “any other grouping” comes forward to form the government, “we can give it a try”.

The BJP general secretary, however, ruled out the possibility of his party taking the initiative: “Not from our side.”

Madhav slammed the National Conference and the PDP leadership for boycotting the municipal and panchayat elections in October and November. Saying that the BJP is committed to encouraging grassroots governance, he pointed out that there is a three-tier structure in the entire country but J&K is the only state where there is no institution below the MLA.

“Such a boycott shows these two parties in a poor light. They are not interested in allowing grassroots democracy to flourish. How do you build leadership at the grassroots?” he said.

“This is an effort not to allow grassroots leadership to grow. Only certain families have control of these two parties. We are trying to democratise politics in Kashmir.”

Article 35A illegally inserted in Constitution

Madhav said there are organisations like the RSS and others which believe the insertion of Article 35A in the Constitution was done “through an illegal manner”.

“They have that view. Now we all have to wait for the Supreme Court (to give a ruling on this),” he said.

Article 35A empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state and give them special rights and privileges relating to jobs, properties, and others.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat Tuesday said that the Sangh does not recognise this Article added to the Constitution in 1954. “Article 370 and Article 35A should not remain…Hum nahin manate hain,” Bhagwat had said.

Even as the apex court is seized of the matter, Kashmir is witnessing a high-octane debate on Article 35A, with the NC and the PDP vehemently opposing any change to it.

Courtesy: The Print