The run up to the Jammu and Kashmir elections was an interesting one and one of the primary debates was Article 370, which accords a special status to the state.
Now with the PDP in the driver's seat and the BJP not being able to form the government on its own, it is certain that Article 370 will remain. This is more to do with the fact that the PDP had made it very clear during its campaign that the Article is needed to empower the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
PDP is all for Article 370:
During the election rallies and even in its manifesto the PDP had always maintained that the article is very much needed. Article 370 is much needed for the empowerment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is what the PDP had said.
The PDP further had stated that the article helps the people deal with identity issues and also governance. We will use the article to restore original status as it impacts the people of the state in various ways.
BJP will have to wait:
It is clear that the BJP cannot form the government on its own. Even if it gives support to the PDP, its leaders have made it clear that it would want to lead the government at least for half the term. The fact of the matter is that for the BJP to remove article 370 it would have ideally had to have a majority in the state.
The BJP leadership, however, sees these results as a stepping stone and are confident of a better performance in the next elections. Its leaders say that they will work around the existing system and ensure that the people of the state are benefitted.
What is Article 370?
Article 370 accords a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This article was created on a temporary basis when the ruler of JandK signed the instrument of accession. Article 370 came into existence after independence and the same went ahead despite opposition from Dr B R Ambedkar who felt it would cause a further division.
Under this article, the government of India has control over issues of external affairs, communication and defence. However the government of India cannot declare a financial emergency and also it will have to consult with the state government in any matter affecting the state.
The residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.
Why it was implemented?
Post independence it was felt that Kashmir needed more time to integrate into India. It was decided that there was a need to exempt Kashmir from the basic provisions of the Indian constitution.
However, this was meant to be a temporary provision and was stated that it would be repealed the day sanity returns to the Valley and the people approved of the repeal.
For a repeal it was stated that the President of India could do with after issuing a public notification. It is also stated that the assembly would need to give its consent.
The good and bad of Article 370:
The state would be deprived of development as outside investment is not permitted as per the article. This in turn led to youth not having jobs in the state.
The local parties however say that the article helps preserve their culture and identity and also acts as a bridge between the state and the centre.