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National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah on Friday (May 24) said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot remove Article 35A and Article 370 that grant special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Fielding media queries at the party headquarters in Jammu, he said, “No matter how powerful Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become, he cannot remove Article 35A and Article 370 from the state of J&K.”

Article 370 of the Constitution grants special status to J&K and limits Parliament’s power to make laws concerning the state. Article 35A empowers the state assembly to define “permanent residents” for bestowing special rights and privileges on them.

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The NC won all the three parliamentary seats from Kashmir while the BJP has retained three seats of Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh after results were announced on Thursday. The Peoples Democratic Party led by Mehbooba Mufti, drew a blank.

Commenting on the dismal show by the Congress in the general elections, Abdullah said , “Rahul Gandhi after five years will make a comeback and I don’t think that people of Amethi will forget him. You may not have won the elections but that doesn’t mean your party doesn’t exist…From the last 44 (seats) he had, today he has risen much higher.” The Congress won 52 seats while BJP won 303 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

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Meanwhile, Union Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma, who was re-elected from Gautam Budh Nagar, said on Friday that his party would take up issues such as removal of Article 370, Article 35A, and bringing law to control population and building Ram temple in Ayodhya, once it gets the majority in the Rajya Sabha.

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