Farooq calls All Party Meet on Thursday, seeks time from PM; Mehbooba for unity

They are worried about end of family rule: Dr Jitendra

Can’t counter rumours & speculations: Advisor

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 29: National Conference and PDP today initiated efforts to seek clarity from the Centre on its thinking over Article 35 A of the Constitution with NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah seeking an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party planning to move a motion in the Lok Sabha for discussion on the subject as Dr Abdullah declared that if the Centre abrogates Article 35-A it will have to abrogate every Article which came from the President and go back to the 1947 position.

PDP president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also called for forging a united front by the State parties to thwart any move to scrap this Constitutional provision that confers certain rights and privileges on the residents of the State.
“We are hopeful of having an All Party Meeting in Srinagar this Thursday to discuss the current situation and also evolve a consensus on the way ahead,” Dr Abdullah said.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh said deployment of an additional 10,000 security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir was part of a security drill and charged the NC and PDP for creating noise over it. He said the noise is being created by the NC, PDP and others as they can feel that they are losing the people’s mandate.
“The Kashmir-centric parties, which pursued family rule in Jammu and Kashmir securing just 8 to 10 percent votes have fears that if situation improves, their 30 to 40 years old monopoly will end. Moreover, Narendra Modi Government has taken decisive action against hawala and kickbacks in Jammu and Kashmir Bank and they were worried that in the inquiry some big names might surface,” Dr Jitendra Singh said.
Farooq said he has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard but he is yet to hear from his office.
“We have requested the Prime Minister for a meeting and I am hopeful to hear from his office very soon in view of the sensitive situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Dr Abdullah said.
Mehbooba in a tweet said: “In light of recent developments that have caused a sense of panic amongst people in J&K, I’ve requested Dr Farooq Abdullah sahab to convene an All Party Meeting.”
“Need of the hour is to come together & forge a united response. We the people of Kashmir need to stand up as one,” she said in the tweet.
Dr Abdullah and two NC Lok Sabha members–Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi and Mohammad Akbar Lone– have sought time to meet the Prime Minister urgently, a senior party leader said.
The party will also talk about the current situation in the State in the Lok Sabha for which the necessary notice is being given in the House, he said.
The NC leader said Dr Abdullah has also been trying to convene a meeting of opposition parties at the national level for evolving a consensus over the situation in the Valley.
“Efforts are on to forge a consensus at the national level with regard to the situation in Kashmir,” he added.
Dr Abdullah in response to Mehbooba’s offer said that they are calling All Party Meeting within a couple of days. “I am presently in Delhi and am in touch with other leaders and we will accordingly decide about the date for All-Party Meeting,” he said. Party leaders said the All Party Meeting might take place on Thursday.
Dr Abdullah said there has been a situation of fear in the Kashmir valley where a Railways official had called for storage of ration and water and sending families back to their houses. “What is this for?”, he asked.
On being told that the issue has been clarified by the Railways, he described it as an “afterthought”.
“If they (the Centre) tries to abrogate Article 35-A, they will have to abrogate every Article, which came from the President of India and revert to 1947 position,” Farooq said, adding: “We were sitting peacefully and didn’t create uproar but what was the need for deployment of thousands of troops in view of peaceful yatra and influx of tourists and then there was an order by the Railways,” the National Conference president lamented.
“There is panic (in Kashmir) as 10,000 soldiers have been called which is not a joke. On one hand Government claims situation is normal, yatra is going on smoothly and tourists are coming while on the other they are deploying more forces and have kept Masjids under scrutiny,” Farooq said.
While taking a jibe at Center’s decision to keep the management committees of the Masjids under watch, he said: “They (Government) are not keeping an eye on gurdwaras, temples or churches, but why masjids are being singled out. This is a serious issue as masjids are for prayers. This is an issue and that is why we are calling the meeting.”
On revocation of Article 35A and Article 370, he said: “They (Centre) say one thing and do other. We don’t trust them (New Delhi). We have to discuss it and remain ready to face it.”
However, NC vice president Omar Abdullah said the party was making efforts to understand the intentions of the Central Government for the State.
“Before calling senior leaders from other parties in J&K to discuss the current situation it’s important to try to understand from the Central Government about their intentions for the State & also how they see the situation at the moment. This is what @JKNC_ is focused on,” he tweeted.
Responding to questions, Governor’s Advisor on Home Affairs K Vijay Kumar said he cannot be countering rumours and speculations all the time.
“If somebody is causing panic or a rumour on social media, then I should not be countering it; it won’t be proper. Somebody said extra security forces are coming. It is a calculated, deliberate, consulted response to the security grid available here.
“There was a reduction of the security grid due to our focus on the Amarnath Yatra. Therefore, the need arose, after deliberations, to requisition little more forces. It is a part of a plan which is in the pipeline,” Kumar said.
On Saturday, a letter by a Railway Protection Force (RPF) official in Budgam asking employees to stock ration for at least four months and take other steps due to “forecast of deteriorating situation” in the Valley “for a long period” created a flutter.
The Railways, however, clarified that the letter by Sudesh Nugyal, Assistant Security Commissioner, had no basis and the official had no authority to issue it.
RPF DG Arun Kumar said the officer who issued the order has been transferred but gave no details.