SRINAGAR: National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Monday cautioned the people against falling prey to divisive forces, saying forging unity is a key requisite for the restoration of J&K people’s inalienable and inherent democratic and constitutional rights.
He said this while addressing a massive workers convention at main town Kishtwar. Among others Party General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Provincial President Rattan Lal Gupta, Zonal President Sajjad Kichloo, Political Advisor to Vice President Tanvir Sadiq, YNC Provincial President Ajaz Jan, District President Kishtwar Tanveer Kichloo, Provincial Vice President Brij Mohan Sharma and Ex MLC Iqbal Bhat were also present.
On this occasion, many prominent people joined the National Conference. Those who joined the party include District President AITUC Ishtiyaq Malik, Trade Union leaders Ab Hakim Sheikh, Irshad Ahmad Najar, Roshan Lal, Retd Cultural Officer Nisar Doolwal, social activists Ajeet Kumar Bhagat, Javed Ahmad Ahangar.
In his address, Omar said the efforts to wish us off from the political space of Jammu and Kashmir have seen no let up since 1953. “We have withstood dismissals, defections and coups in every decade be it in 53, 75, 84 or 90. History is replete with such attacks on us. Quite recently people’s support steered us clear from their designs aimed to desolate our party. Having me and most of my colleagues caged for months altogether proved abortive. Braving all odds and intimidations, even the last person living in the remote hamlet of Doda supported us. People took it upon themselves to prove those wrong who had wished us off. The out and out support we received from people from every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir is a telling indictment of this fact,” he said adding that the party derives its strength from people and is strongly rooted in every region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Omar stated that not much has changed in Jammu and Kashmir and nor is there any major change visible in Kishtwar. “J&K remains on the edge. Much touted dividends which the August 5 decisions were claimed to offer are not visible on the horizon. People have not seen any tranquillity. The situation had contrarily deteriorated. Development is only visible in Twitter hashtags and shoddy propaganda PR. The promised flood of fresh investments is not detectable on the ground. Politics even though it abhors a void, has remained in a vacuum. Elections are nowhere on the horizon. The democratic process continues to remain in suspended animation. Press freedom, land and Job rights stand liquidated. Two and a half years have passed since the unconstitutional decisions of August 5 were undertaken. What is it that has been achieved?” he asked.
He maintained that NC is fighting for truth. “It’s constitutional, peaceful and democratic. Never has NC outflanked the ambit of democracy. In Fact, it is us who have been at the receiving end of undemocratic onslaughts. We will continue with our struggle because it is based on truth,” he added.
Taking a dig at Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s remarks made in a public gathering in South Kashmir, Omar said that Azad’s statement on Articles 370, 35 A tantamount to Congress’s refusal to own it’s own legacy. “I have the highest respect for Azad sb but by making such a remark, he has preempted the verdict of the apex court as well. It is a downright mockery of the wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Such statements call into question Nehru’s accepted version of India,” he said adding, “The abridged articles are articles of faith for us. If no one supports us in our struggle, we will walk alone. It is the future of our youth and coming generations, which is associated with it. It is our land, employment, and our exclusive rights on our resources that are at stake,” he said.
Reiterating NC’s vision of inclusive development, Omar said that the amount of development, infrastructure build-up and employment generation done by NC governments for the Chenab region is unrivalled till date. “People of Chenab should have the first right over the region’s resources. During our successive governments, we ensured that the benefits of employment in local power plants reach the local population. In the years to come, we will do everything to give a sense of entitlement to the locals,” he added.