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J&K people have first claim over their natural resources: Omar Abdullah 

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that democracy ends where J&K begins.

He, according to the NC spokesperson, said this while addressing a mega Zonal workers’ one-day convention at Tikri in Udhampur. 

He said that there was very little for the people to rejoice over the victory of others in the elections held across various states in the country because it has been years now since the locals have seen elections in J&K. “We can only see the spectacle in other states but we cannot have it here. Democracy ends where J&K begins,” he said.

Taking a swipe at the central government, Omar said that people who blow the trumpet of democracy across the world do not allow it to come here. “They have shown that they do not just hate the idea of assembly but panchayats and ULBs as well. It’s no wonder that they might wind up DDC councils as well. After all, what is the fault of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, that they are being deprived of their democratic rights and they are not even being allowed to elect their assembly? On the contrary, crownless kings have been imposed on us, who take decisions related to Jammu and Kashmir but do not involve the people in these decisions,” he said.

Criticizing the central government and BJP leaders for misleading the country on the issue of Article 370, Omar Abdullah said, “These people give speeches every day enumerating the negatives related to Article 370 but if I may ask them what exactly did its revocation change for the people of J&K. What benefits did our people reap from its revocation? Contrarily it was Article 370 that gave land rights to our people. It was the very same provision that made the right to free education up to university level possible in J&K. Our people particularly landless, poor, and workers irrespective of their religious and regional affiliations have reaped the benefits of Article 370 while its abrogation hasn’t yielded any benefit. People are only suffering.”

“Today youth are asking for employment, but the government is not paying any attention to this. We also ruled that if we could not eliminate unemployment, but we did not close the doors of employment, wherever there were vacant posts in government departments, we recruited youth and those who were not were brought under the Sher Kashmir Youth Program. We used to give stipends to unemployed youth but today not only the stipend has stopped but also the recruitment process has stopped. Employment was generated through various other schemes like NREGA, Udaan, and Himayat. But today everything has come to a grinding halt. Today hardly any contract is given to a local contractor, otherwise, most of the contracts and works are given to outsiders, the material also comes from outside and workers are also brought from outside,” he said.

He said that lithium has been found in the mountains of Reasi, however, people will be brought from outside to extract it. “If they were fair, wherever this lithium comes out, there should be a battery factory so that the people here can get this benefit. But the intentions of these people are not right, they will also bring extraction companies from outside, they are building the highway and rail project so that they can easily extract the goods from the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir and take them out of here,” he said.

Slamming the government for the dismal state of electricity and other basic facilities, Omar Abdullah said we started power projects to provide electricity here and to generate income but today the work has stopped on all of them. The work is not going on and people are being made to wait for electricity. These people are way ahead while installing meters but failure and incompetence has become their hallmark while supplying electricity.

On public utility deliverance, Omar said, “The name of PHE was changed to Jal Shakti. We thought that there would be a storm, and now not only water but also Shakti will come, but neither water nor Shakti came, on the contrary, the supply is not getting as much as it used to be. An allegation of a scam of crores of rupees has not been made by a common man or a politician but by a senior government officer who submitted a written letter to the CBI along with the evidence. If such accusations were made against politicians like us or any common person, we would be in jail today, but when they are accused, their response is silence and that is their true nature.

The convention was organized by senior party leader Abdul Ghani Malik while party general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Additional General Secretary Ajay Sadhotra, provincial president Jammu Adv Ratan Lal Gupta, Youth Provincial President Ajaz Jan, Provincial Vice president Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardy, PP Women wing Satwant Dogra, Central Secretary JKNC Surinder Chowdhary, Ex MLA Dr Chaman Lal Bagat, DDC Chairman Rajouri Naseem Liaquat, DDC member Dansal Shamim Begum, PP OBC cell AB Talli, JKNC spokesperson Muzaffar Ahmad, Additional Spokesperson Th Yashu Vardhan Singh, DP Ramban Sajad Shaheen, Zonal VP Rakesh Singh Raka, NC Students Wing Provincial President Harsh Vardhan Singh, others were also present.

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