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Omar dares Modi on 370

Srinagar, Dec. 5: Omar Abdullah today dared Narendra Modi to a debate on Article 370, saying the BJP mascot should “invite” him to Ahmedabad for it.

“If they want a debate on Article 370, they should tell us on which day, which place, which time they want to talk to us. Let them invite us to Ahmedabad, we are ready for a debate on Article 370,” the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister told a rally here to mark the 108th birth anniversary of his grandfather Sheikh Abdullah.

Article 370 of the Constitution gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, allowing the state a separate Constitution, flag and a penal code.

The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister had raised the issue during a Jammu rally on Sunday. He had cited the marriage of Omar’s sister Sara to Congress leader Sachin Pilot to claim the provision was discriminatory against Kashmiri women who marry outsiders. He called for a debate on whether the provision had benefited the people of Kashmir.

Today, Omar insinuated that Modi was ignorant about the law. “I am astonished to hear some people who have not even read Article 370 talking about it. Article 370 does not talk about property rights or residency laws. Article 370 is a bridge between J&K and rest of the country.” He appeared to suggest the rights are covered under separate state laws.