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Bereft of issues; NC 'comforts' itself on Art 370, special identity
5/17/2016 11:25:27 PM

Early Times Report

Jammu, May 17: Largest political party of the state in opposition this time, National Conference is in intense resentful mode, disgruntled to the fact of PDP once again in power with Mehbooba Mufti occupying the highest chair. The party is politically agitated also for the reason that Chief Minister is running her 'cart' smoothly in all matters, which leaves it bereft of any issues that could be raked up, which is why the it has been parroting the rhetoric of J&K's special issue and autonomy alone. NC takes to this mode only when it feels unnerved and finds its ground shaky.
Last few days have seen top brass of NC leadership including the high command tiring itself in raking up to hilt the issue of autonomy and safeguarding special status of J&K under Article 370, accusing PDP of being silent on the issue while BJP is out to erode it under a conspiracy. Entire leadership from patron Farooq Abdullah, president Omar Abdullah to firebrand leaders like Ali Mohamad Sagar have diverted their energies in raking up the issue in a loud manner in a bid to hit out at rival PDP. Statements hysteric in tone and tenor one after the other give an impression as if Kashmir was in danger of some attack from outside by way of what they allege conspiracies are on to erode Article 370 and PDP is silently acting on the 'diktat' from BJP to weaken the state's identity. With panic in their tone and tenor of utterings, the NC leaders want to show they are the sole protectors of special identity and status.
The reality, however, is something else. While PDP has chosen not to hit them back, it remains a hard fact that NC kept this issue so dear to it now under the carpet for years while it shared power with NDA at Centre when Omar Abdullah managed to ministerial berth. One is also prompted to ask if NC is hysterical now over the issue pointing fingers at PDP alone, why it did not bring forth amendments in the state's constitution while the party had absolute majority in 1996, which could have ensured further strength to the Article 370. Playing to the gallery, the party instead brought a resolution in the Assembly which NDA government rejected, yet it continued to share power. NC maintained studied silence over the issue while it shared power in the state with Congress for two terms. With Assembly session commencing from May 25, the party is a threatening mood to take on the government and corner its rival PDP in the legislature, conveniently ignoring other issues related to public welfare. Will there be any takers for the strategy it envisages to adopt, merely for the sake of political one up manship…?
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