National Conference today expressed concern over continued detention of mainstream political leaders and decried extension in Public Safety Act against Dr Farooq Abdullah, terming it as PSA on the entire mainstream political ideology of Jammu and Kashmir.
Seeking release of all mainstream political leaders while addressing a press conference at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon, Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana, flanked by senior party leaders of Jammu Province urged Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, win over their hearts and minds and initiate a dialogue with them for a meaningful and genuine democratic process in order to fill the political vacuum.
Mr Rana said PSA on a five time former Chief Minister and Union Minister is sad and unfortunate, especially in view of his immense contribution towards nation building and sustaining peace, amity, harmony, democracy, progress and development of Jammu and Kashmir during most testing times. He recalled the observations of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee as leader of the Indian delegation in the UN and describing Dr Abdullah as a towering patriot. He said extension in the detention of Dr Farooq Abdullah is the biggest setback to democratic polity apart from undermining the contribution of a towering leader who stood tall in most turbulent situations. He said Dr Abdullah is representing democratic ethos and its values sustained by National Conference over decades by weathering storms during turbulent situations. He referred to the cherished political philosophy of the party and said it led J&K to reject the two-nation theory of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and tie its destiny with secular, democratic India.
When his attention was drawn towards the indications being given out by Lt Governor Mr G C Murmu regarding holding of elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Rana retorted back, “So many things are being said by different quarters particularly about improved situation in the Valley”. However, the prolonged detention of political leaders and internet blockade is a contradiction, he added.
When his reaction was sought on repealing of the provisions of Article 370 and Article 35A, Mr Rana said nobody is accredited to comment on this, as National Conference has made it clear, time and again, that the issues will be deliberated upon by the Working Committee once the leadership is released. “Till then nobody is accredited to dwell upon policy matters”, he said and referred to the statement made by the party headquarters in this regard recently.
Prominent among those present in the press conference included senior leaders Mr Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Mr Surjeet Singh Slathia, Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari, Mr Abdul Gani Malik, Mr Rattan Lal Gupta, Th Rachpal Singh, Babu Ram Pal, Mr Trilochan Singh Wazir, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Mr Pradeep Bali Mr Vijay Lochan, Mr Abdul Gani Teli and Mr Dharamveer Singh Jamwal.