SRINAGAR: The non-BJP all-party meeting in Jammu convened by Dr Farooq Abdullah has decided that they will meet the Election Commission for early elections in federally ruled Jammu and Kashmir. They said the Lt Governor-led dispensation does not represent the people of the erstwhile state.
“There is uncertainty everywhere in Jammu and Kashmir. It is the right of State Assembly to take a call on imposition of property tax like issues,” Dr Farooq has told the meeting. “This is a temporary government. It is not a people’s government. It is a government of Delhi. People’s government is Assembly where members have to decide what is right and what is wrong.”
Dr Abdullah told reporters that religion was used to create division between Hindus and Muslims in the region. “We must not forget that Jammu and Kashmir is a secular state and will remain secular. All faiths in the region live shoulder-by-shoulder together. Jammu and Kashmir is the crown of India and with the grace of God, it will remain the Crown of India in future as well,” he told the reporters after the meeting was over.
Regretting the politics of division, Dr Abdullah asked: “The politics of fear and hate is not new. What will they do to 22-24 crore Muslims? Will they throw them in the sea or will they send them to China?”
Dr Abdullah called for the restoration of statehood and early elections. “We want Statehood to be restored and elections to be held. For the first time in the history of the nation, a proud State was reduced to a Union Territory (UT). It was a tragedy,” Dr Abdullah said. “We are an integral part of the nation. We belong to this nation, so why are they doing this to us?”
Insisting that there was an uncalled delay in starting the democratic process, Dr Abdullah said the administration is claiming an improvement in the situation. “The government claims the situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir. A G-20 meeting is being planned in May. Why the delay in conducting Assembly elections?” he said.
Announcing the outcome of the meeting, Dr Abdullah said a delegation of Jammu and Kashmir leaders will leave for Delhi and apprise all the national political parties about the prevailing situation. “Uncertainty prevails in Jammu and Kashmir after the Union government changed its status and took over all its affairs,” Dr Abdullah said. “We hope they will raise our issues appropriately in the upcoming Parliament session.”
Lashing at the media, the NC President said the media lacks the guts to broadcast the ground realities. “I know the situation is adverse right now and you too are forced to succumb before the circumstances,” he said.
The meeting hosted by Dr Farooq Abdullah at his Bathandi residence was attended by National Panthers Party leader Harshdev Singh, Congress chief Viqar Rasool Wani, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Taranjit Singh Tony, CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami, Shiv Sena president Manish Sahwany and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Amrik Singh Reen.