JAMMU, Sept 8: Exhorting the State Govt to honour the resolution adopted by the State Legislative Council regarding announcement of September 23 as a State holiday to commemorate Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday, activist of Panthers Party led by party chairman Harsh Dev Singh and Yash Paul Kundal, State president Young Panthers staged a strong protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground near Press Club here today.
While addressing the media, Harsh Dev described Maharaja Hari Singh as one of the greatest nationalists and Indian patriot who had challenged the British Crown in 1931 at Round Table Conference in London declaring that, “I am an Indian first and then a Maharaja”. He said that the Maharaja shall always be remembered for showcasing his nationalistic ethos when he acceded the State of J&K to the Union of India by signing the historic Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947. He further maintained that Maharaja Hari Singh was the most progressive rule of Princely India and declaration of his birthday as State holiday would be a befitting tribute to the legendary ruler.
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Strongly condemning the opposition to the resolution by Naeem Akhtar representing the BJP-PDP Govt in the Legislative Council during January session, Singh said that the justification given by the said Minister for opposing the resolution was vague and absurd. He wondered that if Sheikh Abdullah’s birthday could be observed as State holiday then why the same on Maharaja’s birthday was denied.
Meanwhile, State president of NCP and former minister Thakur Randhir Singh and other office bearers of the State executive during a meeting here today passed a resolution, demanding holiday on Maharaja Hari Singh’s birth anniversary.
While addressing the media-persons the veteran politician described Maharaja Hari Singh a great patriot, secular, social reformer nationalist and tallest ruler of Indian States before Independence. Singh said that inspite of J&K Legislative Council unanimously passed resolution, why the present Chief Minister avoiding do declare a holiday on the birthday of benevolent ruler.