Centre moots Article 371 in lieu of 370 for J&K

Srinagar (IANS) A new dispensation may be afoot in Jammu & Kashmir with the Centre proposing granting of Article 371 as compensation for the abrogation of Article 370.

Under Article 371, the Constitution provides special provisions for all the hill states with domicile rights, similar to that enjoyed under Article 35A in J&K.

In this regard, it is learnt that the Union Home Ministry has moved a proposal to the Law Department of J&K Union Territory (UT) for its feedback on granting Article 371 as compensation for the revocation of Article 370, which granted special status to J&K.

As per reports, the Law Department has been told to study the new framework and revert to the Home Ministry with feedback.

It is learnt that the proposal is currently being discussed in the Law Department, which will frame the contours of the new arrangement for the UT.

This marks a major step forward by the Centre which is trying to work out the future politics and policies for the UT following the abrogation of Article 370.

For normal political activity to resume in the state, some new initiatives are also being pushed in a tentative manner.

There are reports that a section of senior politicians from Kashmir, including PDP patron and former deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig, are in favour of such a move and have already indicated that they are willing to settle for Article 371.

"We are a hill state and the Constitution has provided special provisions under Article 371 for all the hill states with domicile rights like those they enjoyed under Article 35A," Beigh had last month told a media outlet.

It is unlikely that PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, who is under detention since August 5 when Article 370 was revoked, will be willing to settle for this formula while some PDP leaders have indicated that the position to bargain for Article 371 could be Beig's personal view and not that of the party.

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