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Extending 73rd, 74th amendments direct attack on Art 370: NC

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Srinagar, Oct 18: National Conference on Thursday termed BJP’s statement of extending 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments to Jammu and Kashmir State a direct attack on Article 370.

Reacting to the statements made by BJP state president, NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said, “It is a calculated attempt to fiddle with the special status of the state. The amendments in the state’s Panchayat Raj Act, brought in by then Omar Abdullah-led government are far more democratic, egalitarian and empowering than the central government acts.”

Sagar said that the main feature of the act brought in by “our government” was the direct election of Sarpachs.

“The BJP-PDP alliance in spite of our resistance, brought in an ordinance aimed at diluting the state’s local body institutions. The elections to Sarpanch were done away with in that ordinance and elected panchs were given the power to elect Sarpanchs. It was another attack by PDP-BJP to weaken the states constitution and its laws. Thankfully the state Governor intervened and revoked this feature,” Sagar said in a statement issued by NC here.

He said that the State’s own Panchayati Raj Act is realization of party’s ideology that underscores the importance of the greater say of people in constituting the local body institutions.

Sagar claimed that NC didn’t yield to the pressure by its ally Congress during its tenure to extend the 73rd and 74th amendments. “We were able to convince our alliance partner that the state’s own ULB and Panchayat Act has given more powers to local body representatives than the central government acts.”

He said that BJP in alliance with its “sequacious partner” PDP tried its level best to dissolve the special status of the state. “The hallmark of the PDP-BJP alliance has been large-scale disillusionment among youth. They succeeded in surrendering our fiscal autonomy to the central government and were unrelenting in their attacks on states special status. People’s memory is livid with their intrigues be it establishment of Sainik colonies, the application of central GST Act, questioning Article 370 or presenting a week defense on Article 35-A in SC,” Sagar said.

Claiming that NC has always been “vigilant and protective of the interests of the state of Jammu and Kashmir”, Sagar said, “Any attempt to fiddle with the institutions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is brazen violation of the Article 370 and will not be tolerated. People are already worried about the strides of BJP-led central government on the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Such statements will inevitably create further mistrust among people here.”

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