NC reverts to old slogan as polls near

Need to make consensus over J&K autonomy: Farooq

SRINAGAR: With eye on upcoming elections National Conference chief Dr Farooq Abdullah Saturday asked New Delhi to consider auatonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.

“There is a need to convince political parties in Delhi to go through the autonomy report on Jammu and Kashmir for addressing the Kashmir issue” Farooq told reporters  at Nawai Subh complex here.

Senior Abdullah described erstwhile NDA government’s “rejection” of autonomy document as unfortunate.

“Unfortunately no one in Delhi has read the Autonomy document. And without reading, how can they think over it. There is a need to convince them to go through it first,” Farooq said.

Dr Farooq avoided questions like why party remained mum over the issue after coming to power.

The Union Minister, who is the National Conference’s candidate for Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency, said talking about Autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir was no sin as it is the fundamental right of the people.

“We talked about Autonomy and that was no sin. Autonomy is our right, fundamental right. But you people (NDA government) bought few of our people and eroded our Autonomy and tried to wipe us out.

But God kept our voice alive and we raised that again,” he said, in an apparent reference to PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

The NC president said the NDA government had rejected the proposal without actually reading it.

“When we gave the document of Autonomy to the Centre, (then prime minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee called me and said ‘we are not ready to accept it’. I asked him if he had read that. He replied he had not. Without reading the document, they had thrown it away,” Abdullah said.

He castigated former prime minister saying on the one hand Mr Vajpayee raised ‘Insaniyat’ slogan but on the other without going through autonomy draft passed by Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly with one voice he threw it in the dust bin”.

He said BJP wants to “bury” Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, but his party will not allow it.

“In their hearts, they wanted to bury Article 370. It was in their hearts then and it is in their hearts even now. But, God willing, till NC is alive, they will never be able to bury Article 370. Let them get one lakh Muftis, they will not be able to destroy the special status of Jammu and Kashmir,” Abdullah said.

He alleged that BJP had “looted” the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and people will not rest till they get back their rights.

“We do not ask for throne, but ask for our right. We do not ask a favour from you. You have looted our right from us and we will not rest till we get our right. Do not think that we will change. We will not change. We will eat half-a-loaf of bread, but we will not bow down,” he said.He sought to know why the recommendations of the Justice Sagheer Ahmed which had called for restoration of autonomy were not being implemented.

He also hit out at PDP in same tone saying this party was on the brink of annihilation.

"The PDP is on the brink of annihilation while the BJP is facing total rejection (from people of JK)," NC patron said adding that his party is ready to quit the chair on the condition that Mufti Muhammad Sayeed stops exploiting Kashmiri people.


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