STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi: The Congress on Friday demanded restoration of Article 370 and the rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir and welcomed the coming together of mainstream regional parties of the Union Territory.Senior Congress spokesperson P Chidambaram said the Centre must also stop looking at the mainstream political parties and the people of Jammu and Kashmir as “anti-national”.The assertion comes a day after mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir held a meeting and formed an alliance for restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state as it existed before August 5 last year and also to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders on the issue.“The coming together of mainstream regional parties of J&K to fight a constitutional battle to restore the rights of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh is a development that must be welcomed by all the people of India,” he said on Twitter.“The Congress also resolutely stands for restoration of the status and rights of the people of J&K. The arbitrary and unconstitutional decisions of the Modi government of August 5, 2019 must be rescinded,” the former Home Minister said.“The central government must stop looking at the mainstream parties and the people of J&K as secessionist or anti-national,” he said.After a meeting Thursday at the residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah which was attended by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone, Peoples Movement leader Javaid Mir and CPIM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, the NC chief said they decided to formalise the alliance and it was named ‘Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’.The alliance will strive for restoration of the constitutional position in respect of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed before August 5 last year, he had said.
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