Srinagar, Jul 12 : Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said his National Conference (NC) would fight "tooth and nail" any attack on the special status of the state as provided in the Constitution.
"Let me be completely unambiguous about this - the JKNC will fight any such move tooth and nail, whatever it takes!!" Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
The former chief minister was reacting to media reports that Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC), a New Delhi-based think-tank close to the RSS, was planning to move the Supreme Court to challenge Article 35A which, it claims, denies special privileges and rights to the non-permanent residents of the state.
Omar, the NC working president, asked Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to explain the strategy of the PDP-BJP coalition government to counter the "onslaught". "I really do want to hear what the BJP-PDP government in the state will do to counter this onslaught," he said.
However, the state government said it would "deal" with the challenge "when it comes". "The existing constitutional relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and the Union of India has been challenged in the past as well, but it has remained intact in its basic character.
The judiciary has always upheld this character. We will deal with the challenge when it comes," government spokesman and Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar said. Akhtar said the government was committed to strengthen the special status of the state.
"We are committed to strengthen the special status of the state within the Union of India under the existing constitutional scheme," Akhtar said.