J&K Bank Takeover Was On Delhi’s Radar For Long: Farooq

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SRINAGAR — Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said then designs to takeover Jammu and Kashmir Bank by New Delhi existed long before and any government which is elected to power in Jammu and Kashmir after governor rule will have to look into the issue.   

 “The designs to take over the J&K Bank have been in pipeline for a long time even when I was the chief minister and this bank was working well. They haven’t succeeded till then but probably in the governor’s rule they thought they will succeed,” said Farooq on the sidelines of a function on the 36th annual day of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar.

“I remember then I was in the office of Home Minister L K Advani along with deputy chairman planning commission and they were saying the bank is not good it is going down and it should be taken over,” he said, adding, “Luckily ‘Business Standard’ (a daily from Mumbai), published a complete report on the bank performance and showed how good it was. I sent those reports to them and I am glad that the deputy chairman planning commission spoke to me on the phone and said his information was wrong.” He said any government that will come after governor’s rule was over will have to look into this issue. “Nothing should be done to the autonomy of JK bank,” he said.

The statement assumes significance in the backdrop of recent decision by the State Administrative Council (SAC), headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik, to declare the bank as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), evoking sharp reactions from the regional parties and the civil society. The governor issued detailed assurance that bank’s independence would not be affected by the SAC decision.  

Earlier speaking at the annual day celebrations of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences at SKICC, Srinagar Farooq said he looks forward to elections for the state assembly at an earliest even as he welcomed the positive approach of Pakistan’s leadership on resolving long pending issues with government of India.

He said that the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent avowals on Indo-Pak bonhomie has rekindled the hope that a day will come when the people of Jammu & Kashmir will live in a free atmosphere.

“I foresee a time when my collegues, friends and family members move around without security. It is perhaps for that day, god has kept me going. I wish that day comes when the two neighboring countries of India and Pakistan live in camaraderie,” he said.

Farooq asserted that only democratically elected governments will advance the cause of development and will work for the socio-economic emancipation of the underprivileged.  “I look forward to elections for the state assembly at an earliest. Only a popular government can mitigate the mounting woes of the people. And it is the duty of people to elect honest people to the legislature,” he said.

Expressing his dismay over the attack on the secular visage of India, the NC President said, “Many powers that are inimical to the secular character of India are making bigoted attempts to polarize the people on religious lines to garner support. This I believe is dangerous for a country like India which belongs to all.”

 “People want answers for all those fanciful promises that were made by BJP. People cannot forget the ordeal that they had to undergo due to demonetization. Small business men and small enterprise holders too are at the receiving end due to the promulgation of GST,” he said.

Farooq while applauding the professionalism and efforts of doctors of SKIMS institute said that the institute should take lead in research also. “It is the share effort of people who run this institution that will make it great. The other day I read that the research being done is India is not of good quality. SKIMS should take a lead in research and come up with cure for many diseases that are a source of agony for people. The institute should find cure for diseases like diabetes and cancer. It will earn laurels for the institute,” he said.

Farooq also allocated Rs 1.00 Cr for the construction of auditorium at SKIMS. “I hope next year an elected government addresses the annual function in the very own auditorium of SKIMS Institute. I urge the Governor administration to render more funds for the construction of an auditorium facility within SKIMS,’ he said.  

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