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ALL PARTIES’ MEET | Will hold protest on Oct 10 against suspension of constitution: Farooq


Jammu, Oct 3: National Conference president and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah Tuesday stated that the opposition parties would hold a peaceful protest on October 10 against, what he alleged, “suspension of constitution and assault on (fundamental) rights in J&K.”

He stated this in a press conference after chairing an all parties meeting here in a hotel.

“During the meeting attended by several political parties, it has been unanimously decided to hold a peaceful protest against the way the constitution has been suspended in J&K and our (fundamental) rights are under assault here, on October 10. For it, we will seek permission from the Divisional Commissioner and we are hopeful to get it (permission),” Farooq said.

All parties’ meeting, which lasted over two hours, was attended by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti; Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Vikar Rasool, working president and former minister Raman Bhalla; CPI-M leader M Y Tarigami; Awami National Conference senior vice president Muzaffar Shah and NC MP Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi.

But BJP describes this ‘all parties’ formulation as a ‘sinking ship’, countered with this query, NC president too sarcastically remarked, “If this is a sinking ship, you all will drown.”

He, however, refused to reveal as to whether the next step of grouping (constituents of all parties’ meet) would be to approach the Election Commission of India, saying, “We will first hold a protest. Following it, you will come to know about our next step.”

When asked about possible deferment of Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies’ polls following BJP Core Group’s meeting with the Union Home Minister, Farooq said that this was their concern too.

“If the government could hold the G20 meeting here and both the Home Minister and the Lieutenant Governor claimed about a positive turnaround in the situation in J&K post abrogation of Article 370, how could the situation be not conducive for election, I find it puzzling. They had promised to hold Panchayat and ULB polls, now how could they change their stance,” he questioned.

He said that when all the formalities i.e., delimitation, revision of voter lists etc., were completed, there should be no hitch in the conduct of elections. as promised.

Former MLA and CPI-M leader M Y Tarigami said this was very significant that all the opposition parties (present in the meeting) had taken a unanimous call to hold protest together as one unit with a singular objective to defend the constitution.

“Suspension of the constitution is not a small thing as we got it (constitution) after a protracted freedom struggle. We would request the countrymen to join the J&K people in their struggle for the restoration of their constitutional rights, which they have been deprived of. They (helmsmen) are saying that they have integrated J&K with the country but actually this is the government which has disintegrated us (J&K) from the constitutional order. This is actually an anti-national step, endangering the country, its democracy, our constitutional rights and our future. Hence, we the people, the representatives of people, including the former Chief Ministers will join hands and protest,” he said. “We do not have hopes from this government but we have hopes from people of India; their support for J&K people and their rights at this critical juncture,” Tarigami said.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti stated that the meeting also deliberated Delhi police action against NewsClick and condemned it. “There are very few media outlets which question the government. During AmritKaal, we believe, speaking truth has emerged as a major sin. Those question the government on account of unemployment, inflation, atrocities against women, they are raided, booked under UAPA and other similar draconian Acts. Earlier in J&K, journalists were being jailed but now this is happening across the country. We hope that the Editors Guild of India will take note of it (raid on NewsClick office and journalists’ residences),” she said.

With regard to a question about PoK and Article 370, Farooq said that the issue (Art 370) was under judicial scrutiny. “The matter is sub-judice and the Supreme Court will give its verdict on it.”

Dogra Sadar Sabha supremo and former minister Gulchain Singh Charak; PDP general secretary Amrik Singh Reen; NC provincial president Jammu Rattan Lal Gupta; former MLA Sheikh Abdul Rehman; J&K Shiv Sena (Udhav Thackeray) Manish Sahni; Mission Statehood president Sunil Dimple too attended the meeting besides the representatives of several other political parties and groups.



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