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Mehbooba welcomes repeal of farm laws

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NC also calls for restoring J&K’s special status under Article 370

Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the Centre’s decision to repeal three contentious farm laws is a welcome step and expressed hope that the Union government “course corrects” and “reverses the illegal changes” made in Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019.

“Decision to repeal farm laws & an apology is a welcome step, even though it stems from electoral compulsions & fear of drubbing in elections. Ironical that while BJP needs to please people in rest of India for votes, punishing & humiliating Kashmiris satisfies their major votebank,” she wrote on Twitter.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief alleged that the decision on August 05, 2019 to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories was taken by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) only to please its voters.

“Desecrating Indian constitution to dismember & disempower J&K was done only to please their voters. I hope they course correct here too & reverse the illegal changes made in J&K since August 2019,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said anyone who believes the government repealed the farm laws out of the goodness of its heart was completely mistaken.

“Anyone who believes the government repealed the #FarmLaws out of the goodness of its heart is completely mistaken. This government only responds to cold hard numbers – bypoll setback = fuel price reduction. Poor internal polls numbers for Western UP & Punjab = #Farmlawsrepealed,” Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation this morning, announced that the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws, which were at the centre of protests by farmers for the past year.

The decision to repeal three farm laws is a clear shift from “politics of arrogance” to one of “introspection and reappraisal”, National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi said on Friday and called for restoring Jammu and Kashmir special status under Article 370.

He demanded the revocation of the August 05, 2019 decision that nullified Article 370 of the Constitution and the repeal of the Reorganisation Act as well as other laws by virtue of which the erstwhile state’s special status was ended and bifurcated into union territories.

“The decision to withdraw the three controversial farm laws after unreasonably defending and justifying these for one long year unmindful of the widespread outrage and 800 farmers deaths and huge loss to the property, is a clear shift from politics of arrogance to one of introspection and reappraisal,” the NC leader said.

Masoodi, the Lok Sabha MP from south Kashmir’s Anantnag, said the decision to revoke the farm laws also depicts a realisation on part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre that before pushing through a legislation on important issues on the strength of majority, it should be placed in public domain for wider discussion and deliberations in tune with the well established democratic practices.

“The decision also teaches us that there is nothing like ‘hands of a clock cannot be moved back’ assertion and decision taken can always be given a fresh look whenever the circumstances so demand,” he said.

The Member of Parliament asked the prime minister to undertake a similar introspection in case of August 05, 2019 decisions and repeal the laws whereby Jammu and Kashmir was “unilaterally, unconstitutionally and unethically denuded” of its special status and “dismembered and downgraded” to a union territory.

“The August 05, 2019 decisions, like farm laws, have resulted in death and destruction, uncertainty, and large-scale discontent. The decisions as admitted by the PM have widened the gulf between people of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and the rest of the country,” he said.

Urging the prime minister to restore the August 04, 2019 position to Jammu and Kashmir, Masoodi said the decisions also have caused a huge drain on “precious” and “scarce” resources of the country that rightfully belong to the millions of underprivileged and disempowered countrymen.

“I ask the prime minister to restore the August 04, 2019 position and thereafter facilitate internal dialogue amongst the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and also initiate a wider dialogue for durable peace in the region,” he said.

He called upon the political parties and civil society groups at the national level to support “just cause and political aspirations” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh like they extended “unwavering support” to the farmer’s struggle, and support the demand for “undoing” August 05, 2019 decisions.

The farmers’ long-drawn struggle also has a lesson for people of Jammu, Kashmir and  Ladakh and political parties that “steadfastness, perseverance and unity and not short term political gains, ultimately help us to succeed in our struggle for realisation of genuine political goals even when faced with arrogance, and resistance,” he said.

The MP implored upon all the political forces that stand for “political aspirations” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to learn a lesson from the unity exhibited by all those engaged in struggle against farm laws and in the interest of people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and rest of the country “unitedly strive for the restoration of special status guaranteed under the Constitution”.

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