SRINAGAR: National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Sunday strongly favoured autonomous elected regional councils for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh under the umbrella of the state, saying this will be a leap forward in realizing the larger objective of politico-economic empowerment of the people besides ending sense of deprivation and discrimination.
“A clear roadmap has been drawn in this regard in the regional autonomy document formulated by the National Conference”, Rana reiterated while addressing workers at several places in Mathwar and Dansal Block during his day long visit of the Nagrota Assembly Constituency.
Referring to attempts being made to trample Article 35A, he said these moves are to be fought unitedly. He expressed concern over delay in identifying fake state subject holders, saying they should be deported from the state as they have been usurping the rights of Dogras in Jammu.
The Provincial President said National Conference will not make any compromise with the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir by Constitution of India and nurtured by the towering leaders during past seven decades. In this context he referred to the machinations being perpetrated to tinker with Article 35A by the elements who have been working towards this agenda for decades. He cautioned the people against dubious stances being taken by powers that be and said their utterances cannot be taken on face value.
“We will have to remain vigilant, as actions of various central leaders of the ruling dispensation are not reflecting their words”, Rana said, adding that repeal of Article 35A will hurt the Jammu province most. He said the people of the region were realizing this danger, which is why resentment is simmering against the enemies of J&K’s special status. He said the state subject laws have saved Jammu to retain its Dogra identity and withstand the onslaught of big business houses from the neighbouring states.
“But for Article 35A the scenario would have been quite different with Dogra identity diluted since”, he said adding Jammu being most vibrant economic centre of north India remains attraction for the big business houses of other states. “Therefore, we must renew our pledge to safeguard Article 35A at all costs.”
Elaborating decentralization of power, he said single line administration was a major stride and nationally acclaimed step towards fulfilling local urges and aspirations, which is needed to be revived and revitalized to make people partners in decision making.
“This will actually be carrying forward the mission of Sher-e-Kashmir, who all his life strived for empowering people by making them masters of their own destiny”, he said and recalled the political philosophy of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah that people were the real fountain head of power.