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Posted at: May 26, 2019, 7:47 AM; last updated: May 26, 2019, 7:47 AM (IST)

Kashmiris fear demographic change as BJP returns to power

Samaan Lateef

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 25

With the BJP returning to power in the Centre, the people in Kashmir fear that the party may bring demographic change in the Valley by removing Articles 370 and 35A, which provide constitutional safeguards to the region within the Union of India.

A majority of Kashmiris may have stayed away from the polls, but they kept track of the results. More than results of the Valley, they were keen to see who will come to power in the Centre. And as the day progressed, with the BJP emerging the clear winner, the anxiety among people began to grow.

“In its first term, the Modi government took Article 370 to Supreme Court. Now, they will ensure it is removed, to appease the voters in India,” said Mudasir Ahmad, a student of Kashmir University.

Ahmad said the BJP wanted to change the demography and Muslim character of Kashmir to settle the non-state subject Hindus in J&K for political gains.

Local political parties — NC and PDP — during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections had promised to safeguard the special status of J&K as Article 370 forms a link between India and the state.

“There are genuine apprehensions among the people in Kashmir as revocation of Articles 370 and 35A is ideological commitment of the BJP to its voters. However, undoing these Articles won’t be that easy. It will have serious political implications,” said senior political analyst Noor Muhammad Baba.

He said the present regime of the BJP-led by Narendra Modi was hawkish towards Kashmir, which could face demographic changes if the two Articles were removed.

However, Baba hoped that the NC, whose existence depends on these two provisions, would create some noise in Parliament to garner support from other opposition parties to safeguard the special status of J&K.

In its first term, the Modi government took Article 370 to Supreme Court. Now, they will ensure it is removed, to appease the voters in India Mudasir Ahmad, a student of kashmir university

There are genuine apprehensions among the people in Kashmir as revocation of Articles 370 and 35A is ideological commitment of the BJP to its voters. However, undoing these articles won’t be that easy. It will have serious political implications. Noor Muhammad Baba, Political analyst

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