Kashmir Congress leader welcomes Farooq Abdullah's regional-autonomy statement

Updated: Dec 26, 2018, 05:19 IST | PTI | Jammu

Sham Lal Sharma said giving regional autonomy to all the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, who have been demanding their right since long, was the only solution to address the developmental needs of these areas

Farooq Abdullah
Farooq Abdullah

A senior Jammu and Kashmir Congress leader has welcomed National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah's statement on regional autonomy and asked the former chief minister to put a document in public domain. Sham Lal Sharma said giving regional autonomy to all the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, who have been demanding their right since long, was the only solution to address the developmental needs of these areas.

"We have been advocating this for quite long to provide regional autonomy to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh so that no region feels discriminated and everybody gets its due share. But now, once the Congress party forms the government in the state, providing regional autonomy will be our topmost priority," the former minister added. Abdullah had on Thursday promised regional autonomy if his party comes to power in the state.

"I want to make a promise that, God willing, if we form the next government, we will bring a resolution to grant autonomy to the three regions (within 30 days)," the NC president had said, as he welcomed expelled BJP leader Gagan Bhagat into the party. Sharma said by putting the document in public domain, a healthy discussion could be held for the betterment of the state.

"If the people feel there are changes required in the document... that can be done once the document is in public domain. The main motive of this document should be to provide equal opportunity to people of all the three regions and sub-regions who feel discriminated," he added. The Congress leader said the Kashmir-centric National Conference were on same page when it comes to putting an end to the alleged discrimination against the Jammu region. Sharma said it was due to the anger among the people of Jammu region against the "discriminatory" policies of the PDP-BJP government that other political parties had forwarded the idea of granting regional autonomy.

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