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Promising everything under the sun shows Omar’s desperation: Sajad Lone

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PC tears into NC’s promise of restoring ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’, ‘Wazeer-e-Azam’ in J&K

Srinagar, Apr 02: Reacting to the National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah’s statement about rechristening the posts of ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’ and ‘Wazeer-e-Azam’ in J&K, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Tuesday said that he (Omar) conveniently forgets the role of his family legacy in bringing Kashmir to the juncture it is at now.

Addressing a series of workers’ meetings in Kupwara, Lone said “it would have been very entertaining had it not been so ironic observing Omar Abdullah’s puerile tantrums and desperate antics.

“Promising everything under the sun, betraying his desperation and lacking self-confidence, he conveniently papers over the role of his family legacy for bringing Kashmir to the juncture it is at now. While he himself may have a distorted sense of history, the public memory in Kashmir remains vibrant and receptive to an informed analysis and sense of accountability,” Lone added.

Castigating Omar Abdullah on his statement that once brought back to power he will reintroduce the designations of Prime Minister and President, Lone said, “Quite amusing thinking that it was his grandfather who sealed the deal, blocking the revision of the step!

“While the Congress in 1965 amended the J&K Constitution to do away with the terms ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’ and ‘Wazeer-e-Azam’, the amendment, however, incorporated a legal provision to reverse the decision.

“It was Sheikh Abdullah who in 1975, as head of the state, facilitated the amendment to Article 368 of the Constitution of India which debarred this position from being reversed and made it a permanent feature of the state constitution,” Lone pointed out.

“So is Omar Abdullah implying the obvious by promising to reverse the amendment — that indeed at the root of every major act of erosion of the special status of J&K his family has a central role,” he added.

“Harping on the promise to repeal the draconian PSA (Public Safety Act), Omar Abdullah overlooks the fact that the law itself was introduced by his grandfather Sheikh Abdullah in 1978 only a year after coming to power in 1977,” Lone said.

“The law was a convenient tool designed to purge the opposition especially the Jamaat-e-Islami and was rampantly used by his father Dr Farooq Abdullah in 1987 against his political rivals MUF (Muslim United Front). It will be pertinent to remember that a similar promise was made during the 2008 elections by Omar Abdullah regarding the removal of the AFSPA. In retrospect what credibility do such promises hold now?” he added.

Lone said that whenever in power, the NC has undermined not just the special status of the state but also basic rights of the citizens of J&K.

“It was the Constitution Order 104 dated 25-05-1976 under the stewardship of Sheikh Abdullah that suspended fundamental rights in J&K giving way to later draconian laws. It was also Omar Abdullah’s dispensation that made the first encroachments on J&K’s fiscal autonomy by shifting the ways and means (concerning overdrafts) from the J&K Bank to Reserve Bank of India in 2011. What remained was done away with the implementation of GST by the Finance ministry of the previous government,” Sajad Lone added.

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