Separatist JKLF today attacked Union Minister Jitendra Singh for raking up the issue of repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution providing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying Centre has no powers to tamper with the provision. JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik said Union Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh had raised the issue to change the political discourse in Kashmir.
Singh had kicked up a controversy with his remarks that efforts will be made to "convince" the "unconvinced" on abrogation of Article 370, evoking sharp retorts from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and PDP. "The government has succeeded in its plan as now everyone is talking about Article 370. This is an attempt to change the discourse in Kashmir," Malik told reporters here.
He also lashed out at mainstream political parties including National Conference and People's Democratic Party (PDP) for raising a "hue and cry" over the minister's remarks. "It is these parties, which are today threatening Jihad (Holy War), who have gradually eroded the Article 370 over the decades," he said.
"The Government of India or Parliament does not have the powers to make any changes with regard to Article 370. It was the so-called Legislative Assembly which gave powers to Government of India and Parliament to enact laws for Jammu and Kashmir. What are these parties now making noise about?" he asked.