Mehbooba meets Rajnath amid debate over Article 35A

New Delhi: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh amid reports that she had come to the national capital to drum up support for preventing attempts to remove special status to the state under the Constitution.

The meeting lasted for nearly 45 minutes, officials said without elaborating about the topics that were discussed. The meeting comes in the backdrop of growing pressure on Mehbooba, who is caught in a catch-22 situation over the ongoing matter in the Supreme Court on revoking Article 35A of the Constitution that grants special status to the state.

The chief minister is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow afternoon which is to be followed by a courtesy call on to the newly appointed President Ram Nath Kovind, they said. It was not immediately clear whether Mehbooba would be meeting leaders of other political parties including that from the Congress, Janata Dal(U) and Left parties.

Mehbooba is keen to build consensus against scrapping the Constitutional provision, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges, they said. Mehbooba had met opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah this week to seek the support of his party on the issue. Abdullah had told her that she should meet the prime minister, all important

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