Defending Art 35A not anti-national activity: Omar ABdullah

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2017-08-30 06:36:37

Defending Art 35A not anti-national activity: Omar ABdullah

Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) working president, Omar Abdullah, Tuesday slammed BJP for racking up religious sentiments over Article 35-A stating that those defending the special constitutional position of the state were not anti-nationals.
Omar criticized BJP for making the debate to defend Article 35-A a Hindu versus Muslim one and “ state versus rest of the country issue after falling short of arguments to justify their moves in this regard.’’
Coming down heavily on the BJP, while addressing party workers at Darhal, Omar questioned the move to point fingers at the National Conference for opposing the “clandestine moves of repealing Article 35A, which is a constitutional guarantee to the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh for preserving their distinct identity and dignity, irrespective of religion or caste.’’
He accused the BJP of dividing people on region and religion to further its anti-people agenda. Former CM reassured people that as long as NC flag is aflutter Article 35A will remain part of the Indian constitution. “Article 35A reflects our identity; it allows us to shape our destiny and we cannot therefore let it go”, he said amid the applause.
NC working president cautioned people not to “remain complacent on this sensitive issue’’ especially as the BJP is working on a planned strategy to abolish the special status of the state. He blamed PDP of furthering the agenda of RSS and BJP in the state.
Former CM reminded the people that the PDP had campaigned against BJP in 2014 assembly and subsequent parliamentary elections. He said that it had been claiming that PDP was the only party that can stop the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, from making inroads in Jammu and Kashmir. “No sooner the fractured results became public the PDP aligned with the BJP and formed the government,’’ he added.
“By facilitating BJP to make inroads in Jammu and Kashmir and allowing its dream of joining the government come true, PDP has betrayed the trust of people”, he said, adding that if the party is “allowed to make compromises, one after another, the day is not far when the BJP could not even need their support to rule the state.’’
“Safeguarding Article 35A is a foremost responsibility of all, as it is in the larger interests of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.’’
Omar blamed PDP for “submitting to whims and wishes” of the BJP, be it GST or the national food security act (NFSA). He termed the implementation of GST is a tremendous setback to the state’s fiscal autonomy adding that the NFSA has broken the “backbone of poor.”
“I had opposed the implementation of the NFSA despite frequent demands by our then alliance partner the Congress party in the government”, he said.
“By agreeing to implement the NFSA, the PDP has forced people of the state into submission and deprived them of bare minimum ration”, former CM said, adding that the “ration crisis had been perpetuated by PDP to arm-twist people into compliance after widespread anti-incumbency.’’
Omar said that the ration card holders, both in the APL and BPL category, were suffering as the costs have increased and levy sugar is “being totally denied to the poor ration card holders. ‘’
“People are suffering due to an intentional persecution that has been unleashed to quell extensive political opposition to PDP’s u-turns and sell-outs”, he said and expressed anguish over the lackadaisical approach of the coalition government in making administrative units functional and implementing the reservation for Paharis, which in no way is detrimental to the interests of Gujjars.
NC working president exhorted people to remain steadfast in their resolve to safeguard the interests of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and asked for “strengthening bonds of amity and brotherhood for which the state is known across the country.’’
“Unity in diversity has been out greatest strength, which can steer us through all our problems”, he asserted.
Besides provincial president, Devender Singh Rana, prominent among those present on the occasion were Rachpal Singh, Abdul Gani Malik, Ajaz Jan, Choudhry Shafi, Mohammed Shaffi Malik, Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Lone, Parvez Malik and Naseem Liaqat.

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