JAMMU, June 22: An All Party Meeting (APM) with representatives of major national and regional political parties convened by Governor NN Vohra at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar this evening called for restoration of peace and normalcy and giving good governance to the people while as divergent views emerged on dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, which has been kept under suspended animation after imposition of Governor’s rule in the State on June 19, as well as approach to handle the situation.
This was the first inter-action of the Governor with heads and other representatives of nine recognized national and regional political parties in the State after assuming functions of the Government during which he took opinion of all the participants on how to move ahead in restoration of peace and normalcy, governance, developmental works and other duties assigned to him under the Constitution.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had been invited to the meeting in her capacity as the PDP president, didn’t attend the APM but met Vohra before the meeting and gave her view-points on the situation. Mehbooba had deputed former Minister Dillawar Mir to the meeting. BJP president Ravinder Raina too didn’t attend the meeting and was represented by former State chief Sat Sharma.
Others present in the meeting were National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, PCC (I) chief GA Mir, NPP leader and former Minister Harshdev Singh, Hakim Mohammad Yasin (PDF), Ghulam Hassan Mir (DPN), Ghulam Nabi Malik (CPM) and Bashir Ahmad Dar (People’s Conference).
Sources told the Excelsior that Omar Abdullah favoured restoration of peace and normalcy in the State but cautioned against any kind of human rights violations or excesses against the people during anti-militancy operations. He said an impression has gone that security experts have been posted as Advisor to the Governor and new Chief Secretary. He added that there should be no fear psychosis among the people, who have been alienated by the previous PDP-BJP Government and rather efforts should be made to win over their hearts and minds.
Omar reiterated his demand for dissolution of the Legislative Assembly and holding fresh elections in the State after restoration of normalcy.
“ At the invitation of Governor N N Vohra, I attended the meeting called by him in Raj Bhavan this evening. I formally conveyed to him the position of the NC asking for immediate dissolution of the Assembly,” Omar said.
In her separate meeting with the Governor, Mehbooba Mufti called for protections of State’s special status and pursuance of Rassana rape-cum-murder case with all seriousness and professionalism. She hoped that things in the State won’t be allowed to go out of control and situation handled with care and caution.
“Impressed upon the Governor the need to safeguard Article 370 and Article 35 A, for which we had been fighting a case in the Supreme Court,” Mehbooba tweeted. She said legal and traditional rights of Gujjars and Bakerwals should be protected as they have been living in Jammu region for centuries. She recalled that her Government had ensured that these communities aren’t harassed and sense of security among them is restored on priority.
PCC (I) chief GA Mir told the Excelsior that he suggested steps for improvement in situation without any kind of harassment to the people and fool-proof security for Amarnath Ji pilgrimage. He voiced concern over alienation among the people due to “wrong policies” of previous dispensation due to which various organizations and people were on the roads saying there was need to address their issues.
Mir suggested that since the District Development Boards (DDBs) have ceased to exist, the Governor should set up District Advisory Councils for maintaining liaison between administration and people.
On demand for dissolution of the Assembly, Mir said if all political parties say that they will not form the Government then there is no fun of keeping the Assembly under suspended animation.
BJP leader Sat Sharma, former president, said the Civil Society should be taken into confidence in dealing with the situation and good governance should be provided to the people.
“The law and order problems should be dealt with sternly,” Sharma said and called for holding elections to Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies, which have been pending since long. He added that all steps should be taken to ensure peaceful Amarnath yatra.
he opposed the demand for dissolution of the Assembly.
Nationalist Panthers Party (NPP) leader and former Minister Harshdev Singh said it was “illegal” to keep the Assembly under suspended animation as the Constitution clearly states that when no political party or combination of political parties stake claim to form the Government, the Assembly has to be dissolved.
“Such was the alienation among the people in Jammu and Kashmir that people, Government staff, workers etc were on roads. There was no accountability and transparency in the previous dispensation, which now should be restored,” Harshdev said and demanding inquiry into backdoor appointments made by the PDP-BJP Government including 5000 SPOs. Harshdev called for dealing with militancy and violation effectively.
Dillawar Mir of PDP reportedly called for allowing the MLAs also to function saying they have rapport with the people, which helps in maintaining conducive atmosphere during tough situations.
Democratic Nationalist Party chief and former Minister G H Mir said the main aim of the All Party Meeting was to find ways to improve the situation in the State and all political parties gave inputs on how to do it.
“The Governor sought cooperation of the political parties in improving the situation. The main concern was that the impression of the Governor’s rule being harsh needed to be countered,” Mir said.
Hakim Mohammad Yasin and Bashir Ahmad Dar, both MLAs and Ghulam Nabi Malik said the Governor should ensure that the people don’t face any kind of problems in their day-to-day work and that administration should be transparent and accountable.
An official handout said Governor NN Vohra met with senior leaders and representatives of political parties of the State at the Raj Bhawan this evening and discussed with them the prevailing environment and important issues concerning the growth and development of the State.
The Governor held wide ranging discussions on issues related to internal security, law and order, development, educational problems, ensuing Shri Amarnath Yatra, besides the political scenario which has emerged after the imposition of Governor’s rule.
He sought cooperation from all stake holders for the restoration of peace and tranquility in the State, to enable speeding up of developmental activities. He urged the leaders to join hands in bringing the State out of the present morass and motivating the youth to shun the path of violence and concentrating on their education and future careers.
“The leaders put forth their view points for improving the law and order situation on the ground and suggested measures in this regard. They unanimously expressed their support to the Governor for restoring lasting peace in the State by taking into confidence all sections of the society. They emphasized the need for the Administration to work in a neutral, transparent and accountable manner, completion of important pending development projects in the different regions of the State; urgently addressing the long pending issues of SSA teachers; Anganwari workers; contractual Lecturers; strengthening of Public Delivery System and other pending issues to build confidence among the various sections of the society,” the handout said.
Advisors to Governor, B B Vyas and K. Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam, Principal Secretary to Governor, Umang Narula and Principal Secretary, Planning & Development, Rohit Kansal were also present in the meeting.