Poonch: National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said on Sunday that the party will defend the Article 35-A in the Supreme Court as private party as the ruling People’s Democratic Party cannot be ‘trusted’ on such a crucial and sensitive issue.
“We won’t let Article 35-A to go at the strength and commitment of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”, Omar asserted while addressing a NC rally at Poonch, adding that the machinations of the BJP to repeal this proviso through judicial process will not be allowed to succeed.
Apparently referring to weak defense being put up by the PDP-BJP government in its counter in the apex court, the Working President said that both the coalition partners were using Article 35-A as per their specific agendas.
“While the BJP is playing to galleries across the country by whipping up passions on this issue, the PDP is trying to involve the defenders of Article 35-A by pretending to be serious in safeguarding this constitutional guarantee,” Omar said.
“We just can’t trust the PDP, as lust for remaining glued to power may make Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to give up and compromise with the interests of the people”, he added and elaborated that National Conference is in talks with best available lawyers to defend the case as a private party, representing the people.
He cautioned against the conspiracies being hatched by the BJP to dispense with Article 370 and Article 35-A as per their well stitched strategy. However, he reiterated the resolve of the people, irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion to thwart all these conspiracies.
He dwelt upon the compelling circumstances that led Maharaja Hari Singh in 1927 to enact state subject laws and said these are relevant now more than ever before to save the interests of those locals holding land and finding representation in the state administration.
He said the laws enacted 90 years ago have withstood the test of time in preserving the identity of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh besides preserving their legitimate rights.
Omar said that the PDP and BJP were using Article 35-A as a double edged weapon against the people of Jammu and Kashmir-first to erode the special status of the state and second, to divert the attention of the people from governance deficit and their failure on all fronts.
He said the sound foundation laid in respect of development and other utility services during six years tenure of his government has not been carried forward. There is huge dejection among people, who are craving for minimum basics.
The various schemes like Food Security Act have failed and the people are running from pillar to post for quality food grains. The sugar quota been stopped. Not only this, the promises of employment and ensuring basic minimum necessities to the people have proven hoax.
He asked about the status of Rs 80, 000 Crore package announced by the Prime Minister, saying the constituencies are starving for development and progress. He said the poor have been deprived of their two time meals by withholding their wages under MGNAREGA. He said there is no sincerity and honestly in the coalition dispensation to serve the state, which is why the people were still remembering the previous rule of six years.
Expressing concern over the obtaining security scenario in the State, Omar said that as Chief Minister he never felt any sort of threat in moving around the Valley to interact with the people but as an Opposition leader he could not travel on Mughal Road to reach Poonch yesterday.
“The security scenario has come to such a passé that the atmosphere of fear is again gripping the people”, he lamented and referred to the disturbed conditions, especially in the so-called core constituency of the PDP in south Kashmir.
“I could not travel on Mughal Road due to security situation”, he added.
The former Chief Minister took the coalition government head on for failing in providing any respite to border dwellers who are intermittently braving shells from across the border. He said no forward movement has been made in creating shelter sheds or constructing bunkers for safety of the people in forward areas during exigencies.
(With inputs from KNS)