Kashmir Indepth

If voted to power in majority, will grant regional autonomy in 30 days: Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar: National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday declared that if voted to power in the ensuing assembly elections, regional autonomy will be granted in Jammu and Kashmir within 30 days of his party forming the government.

“The road map in this regard has been drawn between 1996 and 2002 and the larger objective of regional autonomy will be polico-economic empowerment of all the regions of the State”, Dr Farooq Abdullah said while welcoming former BJP MLA Dr Gagan Bhagat into National Conference at a function held at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.

Dr Gagan Bhagat represented the BJP from R. S Pura segment in the recently dissolved Legislative Assembly.

The National Conference chief said Jammu and Kashmir is a unique state that needs special dispensation in terms of autonomy to different regions to satiate urges and aspiration of the people. He said a major ground work has been done in this regard with avowed objective of empowering the people at grass roots level and enabling them to take decisions as per their regional priorities. He said such a mechanism under overall superintendence of the State government will further strengthen the regional unity, which is imperative for singular entity of Jammu and Kashmir.

Appreciating joining of Dr Gagan Bhagat into National Conference, Dr Abdullah exuded confidence that the people, especially those in political arena, will work towards maintaining the singular entity of Jammu and Kashmir which is under severe threat from polarizing agents. He said peace and amity has to be strengthened at every level and this can be ensured only by strong National Conference, which he described as a mass movement.

Dr Abdullah exhorted the cadre to get ready for meeting challenges faced to the State by isolating elements inimical to peace and unity.

Expressing his gratitude to the National Conference leadership, Dr Gagan Bhagat said he will work in the party for further strengthening bonds of brotherhood and amity between various segments of society. He said he will humbly contribute in reaching out to the people, especially the marginalized sections, and work for their welfare and economic emancipation.

Welcoming Dr Gagan Bhagat into the party fold, Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana described it as a reflection of deep urge among public spirited political activists to ensure a strong and stable government in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the people are realizing crucial importance of clear mandate to a single party for giving the state a responsive and transparent dispensation.

“Leaders from different political parties are in touch with National Conference for joining”, Mr Rana said, adding a realization is dawning fast about futility of the fractured mandate which has done much harm than any good to the state. This trend is to be arrested now by giving a massive mandate to National Conference, which has a track record of public service and undertaking holistic development of all the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. He expressed the hope that given the visibility of National Conference in every nook and corner of the State, the party will form the next government on its own without crutches.

Led by National Conference District President Jammu Rural, senior party functionaries greeted Dr Bhagat on his joining the party. Accompanied by his supporters from the constituency in large numbers, he was profusely garlanded by the senior leaders.

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