Those attacking Art 370, Art 35-A playing with fire

National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah Thursday said those venturing out to destroy Article 370 and Article 35-A were playing with fire saying that the need of the hour was to douse the flames and not add fuel to fire.
Addressing a public meet at Devsar Qazigund in south Kashmir, Farooq said Kashmiris were not slaves of anyone.
“History bears testimony to the fact that no one was able to enslave Kashmiris. We have fought Mughals, Pathans and other despotic regimes and never let anyone subdue us. New Delhi will only have our respect if they respect the people of this State. No one should dare to tinker with our self esteem for Kashmiris have always responded to the brickbats thrown at them with determination,” he said.
Cautioning people against the forces as are inimical to the State’s special status, he said, “Today we see forces as have always been inimical to State’s status come in different hues and colours trying to destroy it. However, Kashmiris have never allowed such forces to succeed their nefarious designs. Today the situation is no different. Today we see BJP-RSS cheekily taking vows to destroy the identity and integrity of our State.”
Referring to the Article 370, Article 35-A as the articles of faith for NC, Farooq said, “The articles ensure the citizenry of our State certain unbridgeable rights in jobs, land holdings and scholarships. Any move to scuttle the articles will have far-reaching consequences on the people of the State. So it is imperative for the people across the State in particular the people of south Kashmir to vote. Every vote you cast will set the recourse of our State for next half a decade. This time you will be voting for securing your identity which is facing unbridled attacks from all sides. Keeping in view the challenges faced by our State, our party made a decision of fielding Hassnain Masoodi from Anantnag constituency. It was a well thought decision intended to send a representative voice to parliament that can fight for our status.”
The NC President said it was only through the use of ballot that the people of Kashmir can recoup themselves from the unbridled miseries.
“The solution to problems shall not come from the muzzle of gun or through stone throwing. It is only through the use of vote that the people of Kashmir can find a way forward. Gun culture have only added to the miseries of people and made us susceptible to the machinations of those who are inimical to our identity. People have to forge unity and come in large numbers to vote in order to save the identity, integrity, pluralistic visage and special constitutional status of our State,” he said.
Asking people to rally round the party flag, Farooq said, “NC has always been a sore in the eye of those who want to enslave the people of our state. Our flag is an incessant irritant to those who are formulating schemes to destroy our identity, because they know that the flag of National Conference is the expression of prized individuality of every Kashmir. Today the people of Kashmir have understood that NC can rescue them to safe shores, and unleash an era of prosperity, development in the state. People remember our good work in terms of land to tiller, single line administration, poverty reduction. People also remember the torments that PDP unleashed on them by clubbing with BJP-RSS. They undeniably are yearning for peace now. We will leave no stone unturned to make amends to the wrongs committed by them.”
Flaying PDP for surrendering State’s fiscal autonomy, he said, “In 1996 when I took over as the CM, lots of sales tax amount was over due to people. But the situation was such that the people were not in a condition to pay back their over dues. Sensing the appalling financial condition of the people, I waived off some amount and doled out well thought-out policy where in people were told to pay back the sales tax over due in the twenty years time. We had also provided free ration for six months to the people post 2014 floods. But now we cannot imagine easing the burden off peoples shoulders; all thanks to PDP government who took no time to implement GST and NFSA in our state. Now if the state government wants to do something on those lines, it has to get permission from the centre. This is what PDP has done. Whatever was left of our autonomy, they shamelessly surrendered it before the centre for the sake of chair and power.”
Flaying PDP for its colossal betrayal of public trust, he said, “In a first we made an outreach and offered unconditional support to late Mufti Sahab in order to keep BJP out of the power corridors. However our earnest offer was turned down by PDP. What followed is history. What good was achieved by our government until 2014 was put into an abyss. The explicit memories of the people are still afresh with the miseries which were inflicted by BJP-PDP on the citizenry of our state.
“People are seeking answers as to what happened to the promises which were made by PDP and Mufti’s during their election campaign in 2014. The undertaking of PDP and its leadership turned out to be a damp squib. The past few years saw no accomplishments vis-à-vis employment generation, reduction of forces, return of power projects. Our state saw numerous onslaughts from all sides.”
Farooq said BJP had failed on every conceivable matrix and is not willing to come forward to acquaint the nation with its achievement.
“How can them, when there are none. The agriculture sector is limping, there are no jobs. Across the country, farmers are taking to suicide, and have hit roads protesting against the inhuman anti farmer policies of Modi. Having being failed to deliver they are again propping up emotive issues and parroting Balakot. However people across the country have made it a point not to fall prey to their shenanigans and gimmickry. People of the country are yearning for a secular, progressive government that will work for all and solve the real challenges the country is facing,” he said.
NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Additional General Secretary Sheikh Mustufa Kamal, senior leader Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Peerzada Ahmad Shah, party candidate Hasnain Masoodi, Abdul Majeed Bhat Larmi, Rafiq Ahmad Shah, Feroz Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Shafi, Salamuddin Bajad also addressed the public and sought support for party’s parliamentary candidate from Anantnag constituency.