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NC has no right to speak for Jammu, Ladakh
Outdated autonomy demand
5/14/2019 10:39:28 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, May 14: the National Conference (NC) has yet again reiterated its demand seeking greater autonomy not only for Kashmir but also for the entire state consisting of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh provinces.
Farooq Abdullah's younger brother and Omar Abdullah's uncle Mustafa Kamal has asserted that "the restoration of autonomy to Jammu & Kashmir will go a long way in sweeping the cobwebs of mistrust between the centre and the state" and that "only NC can fight for protection of states identity and integrity". Mustafa Kamal is NC's additional general secretary.
Mustufa Kamaal also said: "Once in power the party will work for the restoration of Autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The constitution of the country accommodates cultural diversity. The same constitution endows the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status within the union of India. The autonomy resolution, which was passed by the state legislature with majority, affords a way out from the present imbroglio. The resolution of autonomy didn't come about on the spur of occasion; it was a consequence of state autonomy report. The report was drafted by elected representatives from across the state irrespective of their regional and religious affiliations," he said in Srinagar.
Mustafa Kamaal just didn't stop just here. He further said: "The state of Jammu & Kashmir acceded with the union of India on the principles of secularism and democracy. The very idea of autonomy is not something new as the state enjoyed it prior to 1954. The autonomy resolution, which was passed by the state legislature with majority affords a way out from the imbroglio and will prove effective in satiating the developmental needs of all the regions of our state".
"One day realization will eventually dawn on people in Delhi that the Autonomy is the only way forward. The party would continue to struggle for the restoration of autonomy. Restoring autonomy is not only imperative to meet the urges and aspirations of the people but essential for peace, prosperity and overall development of the state," he also said.
It's clear that the NC leader overlooked the ground realities which existed in the state's three regions - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh - while demanding greater autonomy for the state. He ignored the fact that the NC had failed to field even one candidate from the Jammu's two parliamentary constituencies (Kathua-Udhampur-Doda and Jammu-Poonch) both in 2014 and 2019. Jammu is the state's second largest region after Ladakh. Similarly, the NC didn't field its candidate in the lone Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency either in 2014 and 2019. Both Jammu and Ladakh constitute over 84 per cement of the state's land area. In other words, the NC has no say and little presence in both Jammu and Ladakh.
But more than that, the NC has also lost its appeal and seen in Kashmir with whose help it ruled over the state for decades. That the support-base of the NC has shrunk and shrunk very considerably could be seen from the voter turnout in the just held Lok Sabha elections in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies. While the voter turnout in Srinagar was 14 per cent, it was a paltry 8.7 per cent in Anantnag. It needs to be noted that there were 12 candidates in the Srinagar constituency and 18 candidates in the Anantnag constituency from where PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also contested the election.
All this shows that the NC, like the PDP, has forfeited its right to speak for and on behalf of the people of Jammu and Ladakh, as also for and on behalf of the people of Kashmir.
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