Cabinet sub-committee likely to get another extension
CONG- NC ROW OVER JUSTICE SAGEER REPORT
Jammu, Aug 23: With the coalition partners National Conference (NC) and Congress failing to reach a consensus over the Justice Sageer Working Group report on Centre-State Relations, the cabinet Sub-Committee comprising minister from either party is likely to get fourth extension to bridge the differences over the Working Group observations and to come up with a mutually agreed position.
The third extended term of the committee had expired on August 11.
Though sources said that senior ministers of both the parties will meet in first week of September to discuss the fate of the committee, NC was making every effort to secure another extension contrary to Congress which is in dilemma over the mention of autonomy in the WG report.
Though the Law Department has so far not approached the General Administrative Department (GAD), the final authority to issue the extension notice, but sources maintained that all eyes are on the Congress which is uncomfortable with some of the points, particularly mention of greater autonomy.
Justice Sagheer led Working Group was among the five groups announced by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006 to address the dimensions of Centre-State relations in context of Jammu and Kashmir state. The WG presented its report to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on December 23, 2009.
While the recommendations of four other groups are being implemented- though not at the desirable pace, the report of the crucial VIth Working Group was caught in regional and ideological politics.
The working group deliberated on matters related 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.
The cabinet sub-committee, constituted in October last year to study the constitutional, legal and political ramification of the report of the VI working group, had met on January 28, June 1 and August 8 this year, but failed to come up with any recommendations in the backdrop of the differences between the two ruling parties. The sub-committee was to submit its recommendations in January this year.
“So far the Congress ministers have skipped all the meeting, as they are quite adverse to some of the points in the report, particularly the mention of autonomy because it does not go well with the voters in Jammu region”, said a senior bureaucrat.
It is pertinent to mention here that even the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had recently said that if the committee members want to take another extension the same will be considered.
When contacted Secretary Law, G. H Tantray said that they are waiting for the signal from the government. “Chief Minister has recently said that extension will be given if the members approach him. We are waiting for the direction and process will be initiated”, said Tantray.
However sources said that while the National Conference (NC) wants to continue discussion on the report, which has given quite a favourable response to the autonomy demand of the party, Congress is in dilemma.
“They cannot just put the report in cold storage, extension is inevitable, but the question is what the Congress has in mind and how will they respond”, said a source.
Commissioner Secretary GAD Muhammad Syed Khan said that till Law Department does not approach them they cannot issue any notice. “It is prerogative of Law Department and they have still not approached us”, Khan said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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