The core group of the ruling National Conference (NC) in Jammu and Kashmir was reported to be holding a meeting at the residence of former union minister and NC patron Dr Farooq Abdullah to discuss its stand on Article 370. Wednesday morning's meeting according to a leading television channel report, was taking place after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah voiced his objection to an alleged statement made by Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Jitendra Singh, that the Modi-led Central Government could revisit Article 370, and may even consider revoking it.
Reacting to Dr Jitendra Singh's statement calling for a debate on Article 370, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had on Tuesday said: "Article 370 is the only constitutional link between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India. Talk of revocation of not just ill informed but it is irresponsible."
"Mark my words and save this tweet - long after Modi Government is a distant memory either Jammu and Kashmir won't be part of India or Article 370 will still exist," he added. Article 370 gives special and autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and Dr Singh had been quoted, as saying: "Jammu and Kashmir has not benefitted from Article 370 and the state has been deprived of so many benefits from this law. Lot of services could have been provided to the state and its people. Therefore, the Article 370 must be removed."
People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti alsio criticized Dr Jitendra Singh for his statement on Article 370. "Well I think it is very unfortunate of a minister who belongs to Jammu and Kashmir and has seen the bloodshed and suffering of the people to make such a statement. He (Jitendra Singh) has no better thing to do on the very first day of his ministry and rakes up an issue where he has no control," said Mehbooba Mufti.
"No power on this earth has the constitutional authority or the parliament mandate to fiddle with the Article 370 because it is the Constitution and the parliament, which has guaranteed the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370," she added. RSS spokesman Ram Madhav, however, was quoted by Zee News, as saying that Jammu and Kashmir was not the property of Omar Abdullah, and was an integral part of India. Hitting out at Omar Abdullah for issuing a veiled threat that his state would cease to be part of India if Article 370 is revoked, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said that Jammu and Kashmir will always been an integral part of India.