Jammu, Sep 14: National Conference on Thursday strongly pitched for regional autonomy to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, saying this will be effective counter to elements conspiring trifurcation of the State.
“In the overall ambit of autonomy, the regional autonomy is the only viable solution to assuaging political, economical, developmental and psychological aspirations of the three regions of the State”, Rana said while addressing a press conference at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan this afternoon.
To a question, he said the autonomy resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature is pending with the Centre and since there was no forward movement on that document, the issue of regional autonomy could not be taken to its logical conclusion. He said the doctrine provides a mechanism for empowerment of sub-regions and administrative mechanism at district level to take governance at the grass roots level, on the analogy of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils.
Reiterating the party stand on Article 35A, the Provincial President exuded confidence that the BJP led NDA government will move an effective counter-affidavit, defending this provisio, in the Supreme Court as per commitment made by Home Miniser Rajnath Singh during his recent visit to Srinagar and Jammu. He described the Home Minister’s assurance as manifestation of the strong urge of people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, reflected by National Conference.
Rana said regional autonomy together with well structured district councils will end the sense of deprivation and allegations of discrimination. “This will be in a sense complete involvement of the people in decision making”, he added.
He said preserving Article 35A will be upholding the legacy of Maharaja Hari Singh Ji, who had enacted visionary state subject laws 90 years ago. This proviso has more relevance now than ever before, especially for the Jammu region.
When asked on the demand of holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh Ji on ensuing September 23, the Provincial President said that he strongly support it and has made this clear on the floor of the Legislative Assembly also. He said that declaring a holiday will be respecting the sentiments of the people of Jammu.
Describing PDP-BJP coalition government as a total failure, the Provincial President retorted back to a question, “Government deficit is too mild a comment on the performance of the coalition as there is no governance across the state”, he said, adding that the development has come to grinding halt with problems of people accumulating each day.
To a question on the observations of Congress Working President Rahul Gandhi about the BJP having committed a strategic mistake by aligning with the PDP thus leading to large space to militants, Rana said he would not like to comment on this but, “Yes, the militancy has gone up and the security situation is quite precarious”. He referred to the deferment of Anantnag bypolls to Lok Sabha and just seven per cent polling in Srinagar parliamentary constituency and said this reflects the security environment. He said the PDP-BJP government has reversed the gains of normality that was witnessed in the state post 2010 unfortunate incidents till 2914 under Omar Abdullah as Chief Minister.
He regretted over the meager and paltry package of Rs 2,000 crore for POJK refugees, saying this is just an eye wash of the recommendations of Rs 2025 crore package formulated by Omar led government. He said the border people were suffering adversely, as commitments made to them were not kept. He said the shelling from across the border and ceasefire violations have created a sense of insecurity and deprived border dwellers of leading normal life. “Economic, farming and other activities in the forward areas have come to grinding halt”, he observed.
When asked about the stand of NC on Rohingyas, Rana said that the party’s position is well known. He said the Centre should take a call on this issue as per Foreign Nationals Act and in pursuance of UN Charter.
At the outset, Rana expressed his solidarity with the media and decried the unfortunate incidents outside the Jammu Press Club. He said the scenario is deplorable, especially as the media has been shouldering its responsibilities objectively in very difficult situation. He cautioned against the attempts of muzzling freedom of press and said that the morning incident was not acceptable at all.
Senior party leaders including Rattan Lal Gupta, Th Kashmira Singh, Vijay Bakaya, Th Rachpal Singh, Dr Kamal Arora, Abdul Gani Malik, Babu Rampal, Babu Jagjeevan Lal, Master Noor Hussain, Ajaz Jan, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Bimla Lutrha, Deepinder Kour, Gurdeep Singh Sasan, Surinder Singh Bunty, Bashir Ahmed Wani, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Vijay Lochan, Abdul Gani Teli, Dilshad Malik, Rita Gupta and others. (KNS)