Hope SC will expedite hearing on Article 370: Omar

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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said they are hopeful that the Supreme Court would now expedite the petitions challenging the revocation of Article 370 and a final decision on this comes before the people .

Nearly four year after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which had given special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the Supreme Court set up a constitution bench which will hear on July 11 petitions challenging the union government’s decision. The bench taking up the matter comprises Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice SK Kaul, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice BR Gavai, and Justice Surya Kant.

A day after the setting of the constitution bench to hear the pleas on Article 370, Omar said it better late than never and they have been waiting eagerly for this day.

“Hearings on petitions on Article 370 will start on July 11 and we hope that they will be expedited as soon as this case is addressed in the Supreme Court and a verdict will come out. It is better late than never. We have been eagerly waiting for this day,” he said

The NC vice president said they have no hope from the present BJP led union government to restore what was snatched by them from the people of J&K in August 2019.

“We should not have any hope from the present government to bring that back to us,” he said.

“We have been saying that our fight will be in a peaceful manner and through democratic and constitutional ways. We want to get back whatever has been snatched from us. ..I will not give stones and guns to our youth, I won’t spoil the environment. We are committed to a peaceful struggle and we will continue to remain steadfast in our struggle,” he added.

Earlier in his address, Omar said that there is a big difference between National Conference and other political parties as they have already given up on Article 370 and argue that it is gone.

“Other parties only want power, we also want power but we are not ready to sacrifice our principles for it and power is not our end goal,” he said adding, “The rest have already given up on Article 370 and argue that Article 370 was gone. They say it’s enough to get statehood, we too want our statehood back but we haven’t relinquished our fight on Article 370.”

He said the party’s position on Article 370 remains unchanged and they will fight peacefully, democratically and legally.

“I will not give stones and guns to our youth, I won’t spoil the environment. We are committed to a peaceful struggle and we will continue to remain steadfast in our struggle,” he added.

He said that if presented in the right way, our case on Article 370 is very strong.

“In J&K priori to abrogation of Article 370, then Governor first gave himself the powers of the Assembly and then assigned the powers of the Constituent Assembly to himself. First he said that he was the representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and as the representative of those people who are not even alive today. All these things will be before the Supreme Court and we hope that we will get justice from there,” he said.

Taking a swipe at the opportunistic elements, Omar Abdullah said that those who have already allied with the BJP are the same people who say that the National Conference and the BJP will form the next government together.

“Why will we form a government together with the BJP? We are trying to form a government on our own. We are trying to explain to people that if you had not formed coalition governments in the past, we would not be in this situation today. We are telling the truth to the people that if the National Conference had not been weakened, these people (BJP) would never have been able to touch Article 370 and 35A,” he said

Omar claimed the BJP has decided not to conduct assembly polls in J&K as they know that it won’t be able to even bag 10 seats.

“Election is our democratic right. But the BJP is in no mood to hold it,” he said

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