National Conference bats for empowered regional, sub-regional councils in Jammu and Kashmir
Rana mooted the idea in a party's office bearers' meet, convened to evolve a strategy to ensure early municipal and panchayat elections across Jammu region
A senior National Conference leader mooted Tuesday the idea of having three elected regional councils in Jammu and Kashmir for political and economic empowerment of the people of the state.
"The constitution of elected regional councils for the three regions and sub-regions will be a leap forward in realising the larger objective of politico-economic empowerment of the people and ending the sense of deprivation and discrimination," NC's Jammu provincial president Devender Singh Rana said.
Rana mooted the idea in a party's office bearers' meet, convened to evolve a strategy to ensure early municipal and panchayat elections across Jammu region.
He said the NC has provided "a roadmap under the ambit of overall autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir within the framework of Indian Constitution" and it would take care of the distinct identities of the regions and sub-regions besides the aspirations of the people.
The experiment of the Autonomous Hill Council in Leh and Kargil in Ladakh region has worked well and could be adopted in the entire state with "focus on equitable development and opportunities of progress for all."
He said the peoples' unflinching faith in the party, which stands for Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Buddhist unity and opportunities of progress to all, has been the source of its inspiration to carry forward the people's movement and channelise it for the betterment of all the three regions and their sub-regions.
Rana said "the devolution of the power at the regional and sub-regional levels would actually be an accomplishment of the vision of party founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who all his life strived for empowering people by making them masters of their own destiny."
He recalled "the political philosophy of Sher-e-Kashmir that the people were the real fountain head of the power" and said this includes the empowerment at grass roots level, which can be well reflected in the constitution of the regional and sub-regional councils.
The NC provincial president also touched a volley of issues, especially the one involving a plea pending with the Supreme Court for examining the legality of the Article 35A of the Constitution, which accords a slew of rights and privileges to the "permanent residents" of the state.
Terming the plea questioning the legality of the Article 35A as "a dubious stance of the BJP", Rana urged the people to unite and "foil their divisive tactics."
"Repeal of the Article 35A will hurt the Jammu province most and that is why the resentment is simmering against the enemies of the J&K's special status," he said.
Rana said the state subject laws have saved Jammu to retain its Dogra identity and withstand the onslaught of big business houses from the neighbouring states.
Exhorting the cadre to gear up for the ensuing polls for the grass-root level democratic institutions, the NC leader hoped that the people would mandate the party for uniform development of the urban and rural pockets of the state.
Rana announced the party decision of converting district and block committees of NC as election panels with respective presidents as convenors.
He said the office bearers of the provincial committee, assigned the districts, will function as party observers during the elections.
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