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‘Disappointed, Not Disheartened,’ J&K Leaders React To Article 370 Verdict

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutional validity of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in its December 11 judgment. The court also asked the Election Commission of India to organize elections for the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024.

The Supreme Court, while ordering the restoration of statehood in Jammu and Kashmir, upheld the central government’s decision regarding the reorganization of Ladakh as a Union Territory. In a separate but concurring judgment, Supreme Court Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul stated that Article 370 was intended to be temporary.

Here’s how the political class responded; some leaders expressed grief, while others celebrated the verdict.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed his disappointment with the Supreme Court’s decision, describing it as ‘unfortunate.’ He said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, although unhappy with the verdict, have no choice but to accept it.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he is disappointed but not disheartened. He added that the struggle will continue, mentioning that it took the BJP decades to reach here, and he is also prepared for the long haul.

People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, who also served as Jammu and Kashmir chief minister in alliance with the BJP, said the verdict is the “loss of the idea of India.”

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are not going to lose hope or give up. Our fight for honour and dignity will continue regardless. This isn’t the end of the road for us. This is the loss of the idea of India” she said in a video message posted on X.

In Kashmir, senior Congress leader Karan Singh, the son of Maharaja Hari Singh, said, “A section of people in Jammu and Kashmir who will not be happy with this judgment, my sincere advice is that they should accept the inevitable and they should accept the fact that now this has been done and the Supreme Court has upheld the action and therefore there’s no point now unnecessarily hitting their head against the wall.”

He added, “Now my suggestion is that they should turn their energies towards fighting the next elections. That is where the people should now be motivated instead of developing any negativity.”

Commending Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda said, “Bharatiya Janata Party welcomes the decision given by the Honorable Supreme Court regarding Article 370. The Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court has upheld the decision given to remove Section 370 and 35A, its process and objective.”

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