Press Trust of india

Opposition parties to hold peaceful protest in Jammu on Oct 10: Farooq Abdullah

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Jammu: Leaders of various opposition parties met under the chairmanship of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah here on Tuesday and unanimously decided to hold a peaceful protest against the BJP in Jammu next week.

The BJP, however, termed it a “conspiracy” and claimed that it would not be successful because the people were aware of the “misdeeds” of these leaders.

Interacting with reporters after the two-hour-long meeting at a hotel here, Abdullah claimed that the Constitution has been suspended and the democratic rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were under attack.

“We all have decided to stage a peaceful protest on October 10 and are seeking necessary permission from the divisional commissioner,” he said.

When asked whether the Democratic Progressive Azad Party led by Ghulam Nabi Azad and the Apni Party headed by Altaf Bukhari were invited to the meeting, the National Conference president replied, “They are government parties.”

He said it was imperative to hold the “much-delayed” assembly elections to fill up the political vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir.

“They (government) first talked of completing the delimitation process and then of voter list before holding elections. Both the exercises are complete. So what is pending now for which they are delaying the elections?” Abdullah asked.

Following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019, the Central government has now claimed improvement in the situation while the Lieutenant Governor is saying that Jammu and Kashmir is marching on the path of development, he said.

“If everything is alright, what prompted the overnight change of thought about holding the urban local body polls and panchayat elections (scheduled for later this year)? It means that what you said at the G20 event is not right,” Abdullah said.

When it comes to holding elections, the situation suddenly becomes bad, he said. “We do not understand this.”

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the meeting condemned the raids by the Delhi Police’s special cell at the residences of NewsClick journalists.

“In this Amrit Kaal, speaking the truth has become the biggest sin. The one who tells the truth and questions this government over unemployment, inflation and rapes are slapped with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“This was initially done against journalists in Jammu and Kashmir, but now it has become a norm across the country,” she said and asked the Editors Guild of India to take notice of such developments.

CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami, who attended the opposition parties’ meeting, said they held a detailed discussion on the emerging situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the problems being faced by all sections of the society in the Union Territory.

He said that depriving the people of an elected government of their choice was tantamount to suspension of their constitutional and democratic rights.

“This government has deprived the people of their constitutional rights which are akin to anti-nationalism. It is a loss to the nation and our future,” Tarigami said, adding that former chief ministers, ex-MLAs and MPs will come together in Jammu on October 10 to defend the constitution and the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Through the agitation, the protesters will send a message to the people of the country that they have lost hope of getting justice. But “we still have hope from crores of the people of India who will understand our pain and stand with us for our rights at this crucial juncture”, he said.

“The constitution is suspended in Jammu and Kashmir which is not an ordinary thing… We want to appeal to the countrymen that they (BJP) are talking about integrating Jammu and Kashmir but the reality is that this government has separated us from the constitutional order,” the Left leader alleged.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit president Ravinder Raina said the people of the Union Territory have rejected these leaders and they are now resorting to conspiracies by forming the “Gupkar alliance” and sometimes by forming the INDIA bloc to mislead the people.

“Today, there is peace, progress, prosperity and brotherhood in Jammu and Kashmir… Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has started a new era of development… and some people are troubled by it,” Raina said.

He said the BJP is ready for every election. “We have full confidence that with the way the Modi government has worked in Jammu and Kashmir, I believe the BJP will form a government in the Union Territory (whenever the elections are held),” he added.           Those who attended the opposition parties’ meeting included PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, her party’s general secretary Amreek Singh Reen, Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Vikar Rasool Wani, its working president Raman Bhalla, CPI(M) leader Tarigami, Dogra Sadar Sabha president Gulchain Singh Charak and Jammu and Kashmir Shiv Sena (UBT) president Manish Sahni.

Awami National Conference senior vice president Muzaffar Shah, National Conference provincial president, Jammu, Rattan Lal Gupta, party MP Hasnain Masoodi, Mission Statehood president Sunil Dimple and former MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman were present at the meeting.

Representatives of various other parties, including the CPI, Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the Internationalist Democratic Party also attended the meeting.


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