NC’s Rana Pitches for Regional Autonomy

KL Report

SRINAGAR

NC’s Provincial President and lawmaker Devender Singh Rana on Sunday advocated regional autonomy for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as also devolution of powers to elected autonomous regional administrative set ups and elected autonomous district councils under the overall superintendance of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as one entity, to assuage the developmental and political aspirations of the people.

“This is imperative to offset the perceived sense of alienation, imbalances and discrimination among different regions and their sub-regions particularly in view of the serious attempts by divisive political elements during the just concluded elections to sow the seeds of polarization and create iron cast compartments on the basis of region and religion”, Rana said while addressing a public meeting in Nagrota this afternoon.

Elaborating the concept of devolution of powers, Rana said Panchayats could play a pivotal role in rural development while the elected and empowered district councils and regional autonomous administrative set up, under the overall superintendence of the state, will help achieving optimum developmental objectives of each area.

“The purpose is not to weaken the authority of the state but to encourage a spirit of federalism, with each region getting equal opportunities of progress and equitable development”, he said.

The mechanism, Rana believes, will go a long way in strengthening the bonds of unity and amity between people of the three regions and maintaining single entity of the state, which is facing grave threat from divisive forces. He said the voices of trifurcation were dangerous for overall growth of the state and to foil such sinister attempts financial autonomy of the regions and their sub-regions assumes greater significance. He referred to the single line administration concept of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and said the spirit behind the move was to garner larger involvement of the people in decision making at grass roots level and empowering them to fix priorities for developmental projects as per needs of the areas. He also mentioned that Omar Abdullah government’s holding of Panchayat elections after nearly three decades was also a great leap to empower the people at the grass roots level in the decision making process.

“Developmental objectives are not only to be achieved but a feeling is needed to be infused among the people that they are not being discriminated on the basis of region”, Rana said and hoped that earnest steps would be taken in this regard. He said for unity of the state and maintaining its singular character, bold decisions are required to be taken for financial empowerment of each region under the superintendence of the state.

Underlining the stated policy of National Conference to be a facilitator in the overall progress and development of the state and to maintain singular entity of Jammu and Kashmir, the Provincial President cautioned against the machinations of vested interests, who were hell bent on disturbing the unique composition of the state. “National Conference will thwart all such attempts with the cooperation of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”, he asserted.

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