Jammu, August 12: In a first sign of revolt in Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) over its favoring of scrapping Article 35-A, the BJP MLA from R S Pura, Gagan Bhagat opposed abrogation of the State residency law and warned that if the law was scrapped, Jammuites would take up guns and pelt stones.
Speaking during a public meeting in R S Pura in Jammu, Bhagat said, “Kashmiris are united on Article 35-A and oppose its abrogation. Everyone in Kashmir is opposing scrapping of Article 35-A, which grants special privileges to residents of the J&K”.
He said that people of Jammu and Kashmir had been given special rights under Article 35-A by Maharaja Hari Singh. The BJP MLA said Article 35A bars non-state subjects from employment, purchase of property and land in the territory. “If a girl from state marries outside, her husband cannot claim property in J&K”.
He said Maharaja had given special residency rights to people of Jammu and Kashmir because he knew Jammuities are simple and innocent people. Taking a different line from party, Bhagat favoured continuation of Article 35-A in J&K.
“Sometimes, we have to speak differently from party with which we are affiliated. The BJP wants to revoke the law because they would prefer 300 parliamentary seats from across India. Even if Jammuities don’t vote for them, it won’t affect the party,” he said. He said if Article 35-A was scrapped, people in Jammu would be worst hit.
“In case, this law is scrapped, Jammu people will not get employment. Leave aside government jobs, you will not be able to get private jobs. You will not get land because land prices will increase manifold and the price will be out of reach of Jammu people,” the BJP MLA said. He said the non-state subjects, who are working under Jammuites, would become their bosses if special rights are revoked.
The BJP MLA said when Jammu people would lose jobs and business due to scrapping of Article 35-A, people would pick up guns and pet stones. “You will see stone pelting in Jammu region also”. “Kashmiri people are fighting for their rights. They are also fighting war of Jammu people,” he said. Bhagat said youth in Kashmir did not take gun in a day.
He said he would campaign across Jammu division to spread awareness among people about Article 35-A and Article 370 and their benefits to the people of Jammu specially.