Senior National Conference leader and former Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather on Monday slammed People’s Democratic Party for pursuing deceptive politics, saying it had shelved its much flaunted agenda of ‘self-rule’ to seek assured six-year term as Chief Minister for Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
“The coalition government’s ‘Agenda of Alliance’ serves the interest of the PDP and not the people of Jammu and Kashmir”, Rather said while interacting with media at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan this afternoon. He was flanked by Provincial President, Jammu Devender Singh Rana.
Rather said PDP had buried its so-called core agenda just to grab the power. He took a jibe, saying Mufti Mohammed Sayeed might not have succeed in getting PDP’s much touted demand accepted by its coalition partner BJP but it has triumphed to get assured Chief Ministership, which he described was the main agenda of his party. “On this front BJP has really failed”, he said adding that PDP’s agenda also included to get more ministries for them in the state.
Debunking claims that PDP had demanded the BJP to shun its demand of revocation of Article 370 before forging the alliance and quipped”BJP never raised it, either during electioneering or thereafter. “In fact while replying to a question in Parliament a BJP minister had said there was no proposal with the government to abrogate Article 370,” he maintained.
Rahter elaborated that the Constitution of India provides guarantee to Article 370 as it states the Article can only be amended or revoked by the President of the country that too on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State.
On revocation of the AFSPA from the state, Rather said that Mufti Sayeed used to say that if voted to power he would get AFSPA revoked within a year. Now, he is toeing the line of the Central Government by saying that peace is more important than revocation of AFSPA. “What did you infer during his press conference when he (Mufti Sayeed) said whether you want peace or AFSPA”, he said and added that after entering into an alliance, they now say that the government will examine the need for de-notifying Disturbed Areas Act (DAA).”
Speaking on the issue of refugees from West Pakistan, the NC leader said, his party’s approach was according to the Constitution of the State, that refugees from West Pakistan cannot be given citizenship rights. “Giving them citizenship rights was against the Constitution of the State and the Constitution of the country, he said and added that while the PDP-BJP government has said it would take measures for sustenance and livelihood of West Pakistan refugees, the National Conference government had already send a proposal to the Union government on this issue.
He said the Omar led government had recommended to the Union government more benefits for the refugees. He asked the PDP to clear its stand on state subject rights to West Pakistan Refugees.
On Delimitation Commission, Rather said the Government of India had in 2002 passed a resolution in which the next delimitation commission in the country would be formed in 2026 and the then National Conference government in the state followed the suit.
“We followed the suit and put a freeze on the delimitation of the Assembly seats in the state till 2026, the same was challenged in High court and then Supreme Court but the ruling came in favour of the state government and now they say they would constitute a delimitation commission,” he added.
He also alleged that PDP has made a sellout on its demand of taking back the power projects from the central government.
“They (PDP) used to say that they would form an alliance only after getting assurances that the state would get all the power projects back, but now their agenda shows that they would form some Chenab Valley Power Corporations, which means they would be handing over the power projects which are already with the state,” he said.
Rather also dwelt on the return of power projects to Jammu and Kashmir and referred to the coal-block allocation to the State by the UPA government. He said the Centre has already allocated a coal block in Orissa to Jammu and Kashmir and there was nothing new in this.
Rather ridiculed PDP-BJP alliance on the compensation to be given to those people whose land was being used by the security forces and said “now, they say that they would make sure that the people whose land security forces cannot vacate get rent or compensation, but they were already being compensated.”