SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Party Vice President Omar Abdullah on Sunday made a fervent appeal to people to remain united and not allow anyone to strike regional, and religious discord.
He made these comments while addressing a public gathering at Dak Bangalow Surankote. He was accompanied by party General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Senior leaders Mian Altaf Ahmed, Javed Rana, Chief Spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq, Provincial President Rattan Lal Gupta, YNC Provincial President Ajaz Jan, Deputy Political Advisor to VP Mudassir Shahmiri, NC OBC Cell chairman Abdul Gani Kohli and other party functionaries.
Addressing the gathering, Omar said the reservations will impact the election results as and when they are held. Necessitating on the need of choosing the right candidate he said, “If a person is to become your representative then it has to be from you, a known face, whom you can confide in your problems for their speedy redressal. Having your issues redressed will become more difficult if your representative is an unknown face.”
Non- participation in the previous elections, he said proved very baneful for the region. “Staying away from elections is also not going to help us either. We cannot expect to have problems resolved by sitting. Even today concerted efforts are underway to divide us. In rest of the country, wedges are being drawn on communal lines, but in Jammu and Kashmir, divisions are being crafted on regional and ethnic lines. In the upcoming elections, we have to keep such forces at bay, who are determined to thrive on the local fault lines,” he added.
NC has always been a strong votary of giving ST status to both Gujjar and Pahari communities, he said adding, “Right from 1983, successive NC governments led by myself and my father have tried hard to have Pahari community in the list. Every time our efforts went unsuccessful due to the unfavourable response from New Delhi. Notwithstanding New Delhi cold shoulder to our legislations in this regard, we decided to give 4% reservation to Paharis and 1% to OBCs in 2014. But the proposed reservation was shelved by the then government and the successive governments too didn’t heed to execute it. There has been no change in our stance, our party is committed to the emancipation of every single person in J&K. We have worked for all the sections of society, and will continue to with renewed passion. We will strive to give everyone their due rights.”
The decisions of August 2019 he said were a consequence of NC’s infirmity. “Had we been strong, no one would have even dared to touch our status, our identity, our constitutional rights,” he added.
Referring to the claims made by GOI while the marketing decisions of 5 Aug 2019, he said that the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir with regards to development, employment generation, and governance is converse to what was promised.
“Unemployment continues to remain a major problem. Poor are poorer now. Work on small and big connectivity projects and public health, education and utility services initiated during NC led governments have been stalled. The fate of the Mughal road tunnel has also been put into deep cold storage,” he said adding, “There can be no trade-off between people’s political aspirations and development needs, NC is committed to both. We will deliver on both fronts. Restoration of the infringed rights of our people is high on our agenda.”