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The party's reaction came after the SC unanimously upheld the Centre's decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 that bestowed special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and directed restoration of statehood "at the earliest" as well as elections to the assembly by September 30 next year.
Congress leaders P Chidambaram and Abhishek Singhvi said the judgement of the Supreme Court in cases concerning the abrogation of Artitcle 370 has decided many issues, but has left some. The Judgement needs a careful study, Chidambaram said, noting "prima facie we respectfully disagree with judgment on the manner in which Art 370 was abrogated".
He said the Congress has always demanded restoration of full statehood of J and K and "we welcome the SC verdict in this regard". "Full statehood must be restored immediately. The aspirations of people of Ladakh must also be fulfilled. We welcome the SC direction to hold assembly elections. However, we believe elections should be held immediately and there is no reason to wait till September 30, 2024," the senior Congress leader said.
"When elections are held, the people of J&K will have the opportunity to express their views on the crucial questions that we debated in the SC. An opportunity that has been denied to them so far," he said. "We are also disappointed that SC did not decide the question of dismembering the state and reducing its status to two union territories. That question is being reserved for adjudication in a suitable case in future," he said.
Singhvi also said that the Supreme Court verdict is the law of the land now and the debate on the issue has now come to an end. "Democracy, and not autocracy, is the demand of every citizen of Jammu and Kashmir. Why is the BJP afraid of an elected government," Singhvi asked.