NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: ThE BJP on Monday hit out at the Gupkar declaration signatories, including PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and NC patriarch Farooq Abdullah, and asked the Congress to clear its stand on the alliance’s demand for restoration of Article 370 in J&K.
Citing media reports, Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the signatories of the Gupkar declaration have stated that they would work for the restoration of Article 370 even with the support of China. “Mehbooba Mufti has said that she would unfurl the national flag only with the J&K flag. Farooq Abdullah has said that he would seek the help of China to restore the Article 370,” he asserted.
The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of seven political parties, is contesting the District Development Council polls, with the Congress joining hands with it to jointly fight the BJP in J&K. Prasad called upon the Congress to clarify if it supported the demands of the Gupkar alliance. A number of rights of the people were not available to the people of J&K until the dilution of Article 370, Prasad said. “The women of J&K if married outside had to lose rights on ancestral properties.
The laws against sexual exploitation of children, prohibition of manual scavenging, reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the scheduled castes and tribes were not implemented in J&K earlier,” he said.
In J&K, a section of the people and the political parties are considering the DDC polls as a “referendum” that will shape up the future mainstream politics in the region.
J&K Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the DDC polls are very important and “that is why all the parties have joined hands and are working with one another without having any ego problem.” It is for the first time that all secular parties of J&K have come under a single platform, he said.
“This shows how important these polls are.” According to a political observer, the PAGD and allies hope that in case they win the polls they would be in a better position to negotiate with Centre on restoration of statehood and Article 370. “The win will give them a political leverage in any future talks with Delhi.” With inputs from Fayaz Wani in Srinagar
‘Don’t push nomads to the wall’
SRINAGAR: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti warned the Centre of grave ramifications on the eviction of Gujjar and Bakerwals from forest areas, saying the nomads were being pushed to the wall to take extreme step. Mehbooba visited south Kashmir during which she spoke with some Gujjar and Bakerwal families, whose houses were razed to ground during an “eviction drive”. “It is our resources. Now they want to push nomads out of the forests. They want to give everything to their big capitalist friends.”