As the petitioners contesting the abrogation of Article 370 concluded their arguments in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir’s regional parties — the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — expressed satisfaction and optimism regarding the case.
“I thank all the lawyers who spoke for Article 370. Those people who were not with the decision of August 5, 2019 were given the feeling they were not alone in this fight. Heavy and constitutionally apt arguments were given. I don’t think we could have done better than this. We now await the final judgement,” former J&K Chief Minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah said.
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He noted that the NC had kept its promise to fight the BJP-led Union government’s decision peacefully and constitutionally. “We did not allow the youth to take to the streets,” Mr. Abdullah said.
He expressed surprise that those who had not taken any stand on Article 370 were now jostling with the lawyers to speak in the SC “to be a part of it”.
“There was one leader who during the all-party meeting congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for abrogating provisions of Article 370. Now, the same leader is now advocating for Article 370,” Mr. Abdullah said.
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He added that the lawyers had done “a stellar job” in arguing the matter in the SC. “I would like to express a special word of thanks to Kapil Sibal ji and Gopal Subramanium ji for the amazing work they did representing the two petitions filed on behalf of the NC by my colleagues,” Mr. Abdullah said.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti also thanked senior counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan for representing the PDP in the SC.
“Her arguments about GOIs [the Government of India’s] absurd justification of dismembering J&K by invoking national integration, normalcy and development mirror the sentiments of people of J&K. The will of a State that chose secular democratic India over a theocratic Pakistan despite knowing they’d be reduced to a minority in India has been subverted. I hope Hon’ble SC takes cognisance of the fact that their wisdom can mend the trust & faith of my people in this country that stands battered & broken today,” she said.