Opposition disrupts J&K assembly again over Article 35A


Opposition National Conference and Congress party legislators on Tuesday disrupted the proceedings of the state legislative assembly in capital Srinagar.

The NC lawmakers stood on their seats and displayed banners that said ‘Save Article 35A’. The Congress legislators shouted for the protection of Article 35A of the constitution and also sought regularisation of daily wagers in the state.

NC lawmaker Devender Rana asked the speaker to suspend the Question Hour and instead allow discussion on Article 35A in the house.

Article 35A pertains to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state in the Union of Indian states.

Former NC minister Ali Muhammad Sagar said, “We are not carrying bombs or grenades in the house. We want you (speaker) to allow us to speak on Article 35A and the demand is under the Indian Constitution. You (speaker) are running the house according to the directions of the chief minister (Mufti Muhammad Sayeed).”

State law and Parliamentary affairs minister Syed Basharat Bukhari said Article 35A has been challenged in the Supreme Court and under business rules, and hence no discussion could be allowed on that in the house.

As the speaker decided to go ahead with the Question Hour, NC and Congress legislators came close to the speaker’s chair, with security staff failing to prevent them from entering the well of the house.

Speaker Kavinder Gupta suspended NC lawmaker Altaf Kaloo for the rest of the session because of his unruly behaviour. He was carried out of the house by the marshals.

Ministers continued replying to questions in the house despite the din raised by opposition lawmakers.

Note: Article 35A of the Indian Constitution deals with defining the classes of persons, who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It also deals with conferring special rights and privileges related to employment, acquisition of immovable property, settlement in the state or rights to scholarships or any other form of aid provided by the state government.