NC says party won’t be part of delimitation exercise
‘Party won’t accept Centre’s 5 August 2019 move to scrap Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir’.
Srinagar: After signs of internal revolt, the National Conference (NC) broke its silence on Friday and said it will never accept the Centre’s 5 August 2019 decision to scrap Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. After recent rumblings in the rank and file of NC, bringing the party on the verge of a split, sources within the party told this newspaper that Farooq Abdullah decided to break his silence and be part of future peaceful political protests in Jammu and Kashmir for the restoration of special status of J&K state.
Reports said that earlier Farooq Abdullah received some feelers from PDP, Congress, People’s Conference (PC) led by Sajad Lone and other political outfits, asking him not to toe the “soft line” of Omar Abdullah over the issue of Article 370. Reports further said that Farooq Abdullah conveyed to all political parties that he would always be on the forefront for preservation of Jammu and Kashmir’s identity. The National Conference on Friday decided to distance itself from the process of delimitation started by the Central government to redraw parliamentary and Assembly segments in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The National Conference held a meeting chaired by Farooq Abdullah on Friday and decided that the party will not participate in the delimitation exercise.
Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker had nominated five MPs from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as associate members of the delimitation panel.
On 6 March 2020, the Centre had constituted the delimitation commission for J&K headed by a former Supreme Court judge. The commission would be responsible for redrawing Lok Sabha and Assembly segments of J&K and north-eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.
The National Conference has said that the party cannot be a part of the delimitation commission as they have challenged the revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A in Supreme Court and the Supreme Court has already referred the case to a constitutional bench and the Centre should have waited for the outcome of the petition.
A related report said Omar Abdullah’s recent visit to New Delhi coincided with an article in a local daily by his close friend and political advisor Tanvir Sadiq advocating to move ahead of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The article triggered resentment among some party members and detained activists and leaders. It forced Omar Abdullah to tweet to distance himself from Sadiq’s article and maintain that the NC was firm on its stand for restoration of Article 370.
Informed sources within National Conference circles told this newspaper that Omar Abdullah has been advocating within the party reconciliation with the Centre and to get power after elections and play the role for restoration of statehood. After coming out of detention, Omar Abdullah has refrained from making any comments on Article 370 and the party’s stand on this issue.
Omar Abdullah was forced to react to tweets of chief spokesman of the party and three-time MLA from Budgam Aga Rohullah, as he revolted and said he was ready to move to jail from house detention on the restoration of Article 370.
Omar Abdullah denied that there were any political reasons for his current visit to Delhi and dismissed speculation that the National Conference was divided on the key issues of how to start the political process in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a series of tweets, Omar Abdullah also refuted suggestions in the media and social media circles thathis visit was linked to reported moves for the formation of an Advisory Council which may be headed by Altaf Bukhari, leader of the recently floated ApniParty. In a subdued manner, OmarAbdullah in his tweets said that the National Conference was committed to challenging all the orders of the Central government regarding Jammu and Kashmir since 5 August last year.