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Mehbooba in Delhi to meet PM over J&K’s special status

IANS | New Delhi |

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti arrived here on Thursday and is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the legal challenges to the special status accorded to the state.

A close aide said Mehbooba Mufti landed in the afternoon and has sought an appointment with Modi.

The Chief Minister's visit comes amid growing debate over Article 35A of the Constitution, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

The article, added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, accords special rights and privileges to Jammu and Kashmir citizens and empower its legislature to frame any law without attracting a legal challenge. 

The provision prohibits all Indians – except people from Jammu and Kashmir – from purchasing immovable property in the state, getting government jobs and availing state-sponsored scholarship schemes.

The article has been challenged by a Delhi-based NGO, 'We the Citizens', in the apex court where the Central government last month said there was need for a "larger debate" on the issue of declaring the article unconstitutional.

The NGO contended that the President could not have amended the Constitution by the 1954 order and it was supposed to be a temporary provision.