NC ready to debate merits, de-merits of Article 370: Rana

Excelsior Correspondent

30JAMMU, May 29: National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana today said the BJP is raising the issue of abrogation of Article-370 as a vote bank trick before the ensuing Assembly elections in J&K as this Constitutional provision had full endorsement of even founder of Jana Sangh Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
Addressing a press conference today, Mr Rana said that there are lots of myths and realities about Article-370 in rest of the India and BJP always gives an impression that those opposed to revocation of said Article are anti-nationalist.
“If according to BJP, all who raises voice in favour of defending this Article in State are anti-nationalist then their own leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee is also anti-national as he was one among the signatory of Parliament Committee which granted this special status to the State through Constituent Assembly of J&K”, he said, adding, Mukherjee signed the said agreement as one of the representatives of Government of India with Constituent Assembly led by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
“State has its own Permanent Residential Certificate (PRC) Act, which was introduced in 1927 by Maharaja Partap Singh and Article-370 has nothing to do with citizenship”, which BJP is trying to coincide, he added.
Rana along with Provincial Committee member of NC, Jammu wing raised protest against Union Government over the issue of abrogation of Article 370.
“The NC is ready to have debate on Article-370 and invite political and other organizations to have a detailed discussions over the merits and de-merits of Art-370”, he stated.
The discussion should be open with people of the State and not just confined to political parties, which in other words is called referendum and will be dangerous for unity of the State, he added.
Rana also rejected the rebuttal from Dr Jatindra Singh, Minister of State (MoS) in Prime Minister Office (PMO) which stated that his (Dr Singh) statement has been misquoted by media, as he had not mentioned the name of Prime Minister. “Dr Jatindra clearly said that Government is in progress to scrap the said Article, which he did not rebut”, he added.
“Let there be a categorical statement by the Union Government that abrogation of Article-370 is not in their agenda, NC will stop raising the issue”, he added.
Rana said both parties (BJP and People’s Democratic Party (PDP)) are part and parcels of each other and habitual of provoking communal sentiments of masses.
Cautioning the people about the designs of BJP, Rana said that BJP is polarizing the situation in the wake of the ensuing Assembly elections in J&K and National Conference (NC) will restrict their designs by bouncing back with good results.
“Elections should be fought on ideology and not by raising issues to befool people”, he added. “Elections will come and elections will go, but brotherhood should be maintained in J&K”, he said, adding that NC always worked to maintain brotherhood and communal harmony in all the three regions of the State–Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”.
Talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief and SAARC members is a welcome step and will yield good results in the future, he added.
When asked about the NC’s planning to redress the issues of over 3 lakh west Pakistani refugees, Rana said that issues of West Pakistani refugees are under-consideration and will be sorted out at the earliest.
“Sound package should also be announced for the Kashmiri Pandits by the Union Government so that they can live a good life”, he added.
Rana also informed that on May 31, National Conference (NC) is organizing a one day convention of the party workers, which would be addressed by NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

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