NC-Cong lock horns over autonomy
CSC fails to evolve consensus, autonomy emerges as major discord between NC, Cong
JUSTICE SAGHEER COMMITTEE REPORT
Jammu, Aug 17: The recommendations on ‘greater autonomy’ for Jammu and Kashmir in the Justice Sagheer Ahmed Working Group report on Centre-State relations has become a major issue of discord between the coalition partners as the Cabinet Sub-Committee constituted to give its opinion on the mater has failed to reach any consensus.
The committee constituted in October last year to study the constitutional, legal and political ramification of fifth report of the working group completed its extended term on August 11, without reaching any conclusion, well informed sources told Greater Kashmir.
It was to submit its report to the cabinet for consideration within a period of three months of its formation. Sub-Committee was constituted after central government had asked the state to submit its views on the issues touched by the WG.
Sources maintained that while the recommendation of greater autonomy goes well with the NC, Congress insists on finding the solution to the problems within the Indira-Sheikh Accord of 1975 with a special focus on further strengthening the Jammu Kashmir’s relation with India. The vital issue, sources said, has become a major issue of discord between the coalition partners.
In last ten month since the committee was formed, its term has been extended thrice and had met on January 28, June 1 and August 8 this year. However sources said that the members have again decided to meet in September despite expiry of the extension, but it is unlikely to reach to any consensus and there was every likelihood that the much hyped report would be pushed to cold storage for the time being.
“For NC, the report is quite favourable, but for Congress- if it ever accepts the recommendations in the report, will be like a political suicide. So they are avoiding the discussions and at times have skipped the meetings”, said a source.
The committee is headed by Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, while other members of the largest ever Cabinet Sub-Committee in the history of state include Minister for PHE, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Rural Development, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Minister for Industries, S S Salathia Minister for Tourism, Rigzin Jora, Minister for CAPD, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Minister for Revenue, Raman Bhalla and Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma.
“They will never reach to any consensus because the parties differ on the basic points”, said a senior bureaucrat.
The Justice Sagheer led Working Group was among the five groups constituted by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006 to address the dimensions of Centre-State relations in context of Jammu and Kashmir state.
The report was presented to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on December 23 2009 and the state cabinet formed committee on October last year.
When contacted, Minister for Health Sham Lal Sharma said that it is a big document and need time to study all the 35 points. “I was not able to attend the last meeting due to preoccupation. So far I don’t know what they discussed and what the future plans are.”
However the National Conference (NC) Ministers refused to comment on the issue.
The Working Group deliberated on matters relating to the special status of the border state within the Indian Union, methods of strengthening democracy, secularism and the rule of law in the state.
Report had suggested decentralization of powers to strengthen democracy in the state and had favoured examination of the question of autonomy in the light of various formulas.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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