National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah Monday said the post of Sadar-e-Riyasat (President) and Wazir-e-Azam (Prime Minister) would be brought back if the party returns to power.
Addressing a rally of the party in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, Omar said Jammu Kashmir had acceded to India on certain terms which included its own constitution and own flag.
The former chief minister said, “Other states joined the Union of India without any conditions. However, J&K acceded with certain conditions. Those included our own identity, own constitution. At that time we had our own ‘Sadar-e-Riyasat’ and ‘Wazir-e-Azam’. Inshallah, we will bring that back too.”
He also promised that the ‘highly misused’ Public Safety Act (PSA) will go within days if NC comes to power.
“Even today so many youth, and our elders are struggling in prisons. I had tried that this act should not be misused but my attempts didn’t materialise completely. Now this time we have decided not to relax the law but remove it completely from the books of law,” Omar said.
“Take this in written from me, if NC is given a mandate, within days PSA will go forever,” he said.
The NC Vice President said the ensuing parliament polls were significant since it would have a direct bearing on the special status of the State saying that J&K’s accession with the Union of India was accomplished in lieu of various constitutional safeguards for the State and if the safeguards were tempered with the entire scheme of accession would be under question.
He said Jammu Kashmir was the only State that executed its accession with the Union of India after securing itself certain constitutional safeguards.
“We are not like any another state of India. Every other state got merged with the Union of India. We joined our hands with the union on certain conditions unlike other states of India. Does any other state in India have its own flag and constitution? Our handshake with the Union of India was subject to certain conditions. Today after 70 years, the government forces as are inimical to our status are trying to back track from the conditions. The move will also initiate debate on the fundamentals of accession. There is no second thought about it. It takes two hands to clap,” Omar said. “After the unconstitutional arrest of Sher-e-Kashmir, our special position was unremittingly tampered with to the extent that now it is the pale shadow of what we had achieved from New Delhi, but we would fight any attempt that is aimed to fiddle with our state’s status. We won’t allow any more assail our special status. On the contrary we will strive to get back what was infringed upon. We will work towards to get back the coveted posts of Sadr-e-Riyasat and Prime Minister for our state.”
While rebuffing the statements of BJP President against Article 35-A, he said no one knew about Article 35-A until he raised it in the assembly.
“I inquired from the then CM about the efforts that were being made by the State government to defend it in the Supreme Court. Only then it came into the realm of debate. In 1947, certain assurances were given to us in the form of securing our identity, and the assurances were for all times. Before Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley also had made some uncouth remarks on Article 35-A. Let me put it across that we won’t allow that to happen. Article 370 and Article 35-A are articles of faith for us,” Omar said.
Talking about a suitable candidate to Bandipora constituency, he said: “I am not accusing you of not making our candidate win in this constituency in the assembly elections of 2014. Fault might be lying with us, we did work for the people but we were not able to make public our good work. In elections we didn’t gave you an appropriate candidate who could have made public the good work done by the party. But I assure you that in the forthcoming assembly elections the party will give you a suitable candidate who could advance the cause of development in this constituency.”
Referring to the development works initiated during his stint as CM, Omar said, “During my stint as CM I left no stone unturned to augment the tourist-related infrastructure in this constituency. I doled out Rs 1 crore for the building tourist huts at Sadrakoot area of this constituency. However, at present those huts are inundated under water. My government made all sincere efforts toward investing in tourism related activities in this area. However, the momentum was not carried forward by the former BJP-PDP coalition government. I had earmarked Rs 500 crore for the dredging of Wular Lake but unfortunately the project was stalled by various ministers of the former BJP-PDP government.”
He said: “Nonetheless when we come to power we will revive the Wular dredging project and restore the lake to its pristine glory. We will make sure that people who get their sustenance from the lake are taken care of. Once in power our government will provide wood quota to the fishermen families for building boasts, besides that we will ensure them all help to earn a hassle-free substance.”
Referring to the issues faced by youth of the State, Omar said: “I am alive to the problems the youth of our State is facing due to the serving SRO-202 job policy of the State government. Regrettably the youth of our Start are made to work full in lieu of paltry remuneration. During my tenure, I had done away with the SRO-202. I repented for my mistake, but I don’t know what caused the former PDP-BJP government to get it back. I assure you once in power, we will do away with SRO-202. I have also undertaken to obliterate PSA from the State. During our government, the law was mellowed down, nonetheless I assure you once in power PSA will obliterate from the papers. I don’t back track from this undertaking of mine on the abolition of PSA, if NC is voted to power with a strong mandate the law will go. We are not PDP which promised to dissolve task force but ended up just changing the nomenclature of it, this is not what I am I going to do. Once in power PSA shall become thing of past.”
Seeking a strong verdict in favour of the party’s parliamentary candidate for Baramulla constituency, Muhammad Akbar Lone, he said, “I urge you to send Lone Sahab with a huge winning margin to the parliament. He has the necessary political wisdom and legal acumen to work for the interests of the State – both inside and outside the parliament.”
Among others, NC senior leaders including General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Mir Ghulam Rassol Naz, and Nazir Malik also addressed the gathering.