STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Congress has asked National Conference not to justify their boycott from the ongoing electoral process by indulging in blame game, as people are wise enough and have not forgotten the past political history of the State.
Reacting to the statements of certain NC leaders of Jammu attacking Congress for participating in the ongoing polls, JKPCC Chief Spokesperson, Ravinder Sharma said that Congress being a responsible national and nationalist party having a history of 132 years of struggle for the democratic system of India, cannot take any step which strengthens the communal, separatist and anti-democratic forces in the state, although it cautioned the government time and again about the dangers of the situation.
“To stay away from elections was their (NC) own decision but they should not expect Congress to back their decisions, which do not go in the larger interests of the people of the State and nation, our stand on the contentious issues like Article 370 and Article 35A is well known and we are guided by the spirit of the Indira-Sheikh Accord, under which the later accepted power leaving aside the demand for plebiscite, as Congress surrendered power to it despite 2/3 Majority, in the larger interest of the State and nation,” he said.
“NC had stayed away from 1996 Lok-Sabha elections too, when there was great challenge but Congress bravely contested the same, paving way for the revival of democracy in the State. Again NC continued to be in power and part of NDA at the Centre when the later rejected outrightly its resolution for greater autonomy,” he reminded.
“The Congress and NC have travelled together for a longer period with agreements and disagreements on issues and quantum of autonomy but Congress never dithered on the principle that J&K being integral part of India, enjoys a distinct identity with special status under Constitution of India and nothing should be done to dilute this status against wishes and aspirations of the people of the state,” he added.
He further said that Congress always remained committed to the devolution and decentralization of powers to the grass root institutions of democracy in the State like in rest parts of the country, on the pattern of 73rd and 74th amendments and finally it succeeded in incorporating the said provisions in the State laws in March 2014, after much persuasion of the alliance partners. He also questioned PDP and BJP for their dual standards as they diluted the powers of PRI’s by carrying out illogical and anti-democratic amendment taking away right to direct elections to Sarpanchs, but thanks to Governor N.N Vohra, who immediately after taking over nullified the same and restored the powers to the PRIs and the common people.