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BJP misleading people on women’s rights in J&K: Omar Abdullah

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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday accused BJP of “diverting” attention from Narendra Modi who “knowingly or unknowingly misled the people”, on a Bill on the issue of residency of women marrying outside the State.

Mr. Omar was responding to BJP’s claim that National Conference (NC) had “enthusiastically” supported the Bill in the State legislature brought by then ruling PDP which sought to withdraw the status of a permanent resident from a woman who married outside J&K.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley, in a blog post on Monday, wrote that after PDP formed the government in the State in alliance with Congress in 2002, it introduced ‘The Jammu and Kashmir Resident (Disqualification) Bill 2004’, which was “enthusiastically” supported by NC.

In a series of Tweets, Mr. Omar retorted, saying, “That NC supported a Bill that would have continued the discriminatory framework against women some years ago is a fact, no denying that.

“(But) In power for 5 years now, NC has made no attempt to revive that Bill nor has any intention to, is also a fact that can’t be denied,” Mr. Omar wrote.

The Chief Minister said the issue was not what his party did or did not do, but that Mr. Modi had got his facts “wrong” at his rally in Jammu on Sunday and “now BJP is diverting attention”.

“That Mr Modi was knowingly or unknowingly misleading the people on this issue is a fact that can’t be denied, whatever Mr Jaitley says,” Mr. Omar said.

He also hit out at “self-appointed experts” appearing on TV shows to debate Article 370, asking them to read the provision of the Constitution guaranteeing special status to the state before forming an opinion on it.

“Dear self-appointed Kashmir experts appearing on TV channels to debate Art 370 PLEASE read Art 370 before forming an opinion about it,” Mr. Omar wrote on Twitter.

The Chief Minister and BJP have been engaged in a war of words since Mr. Modi said there should be a debate on whether Article 370 had benefited the State.

Mr. Modi had said his party wanted a discussion on various aspects of the constitutional provision, while Mr. Omar had maintained that the Gujarat CM was “badly-informed or lying” on the issue.

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