I stalled AFSPA revocation: Soz
‘Have Won Accolades At National Level For My Stand’
Jammu, Aug 9: Making the startling revelation that he stalled revocation of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress chief Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz Thursday said the Centre put the issue on backburner due to the stand taken by him (Soz) against the revocation of the law.
“I have won on this front at the national level because it was my stand that any decision on AFSPA revocation should not be taken in a hurry and the issue should be discussed threadbare at various levels”, Prof Soz told media persons on the sidelines of a party function here.
“People should have been consulted. There was no consultation on the issue (AFSPA) so I was of firm belief that the demand was premature”, he said, when asked about the widening rift between the coalition partners - Congress and NC - over important issues. Admitting that both Congress and National Conference have their own policies and programmes, Soz said, “There was no alternative to us. We formed the coalition but did not form a Common Minimum Programme because the situation demanded so”.
Responding to a query on the visible cracks within the party (Congress), the PCC Chief said though there were “some sluggish activities in certain areas”, he has been able to lead the party and keep it “united” in the state.
“You see I have kept the flock together despite difficulties. Majority of the Congress leaders and legislators are with me and whatever slogans I give are based on my experience, knowledge and the party programme,” Soz said.
Toughening his stance over the introduction of 73rd and 74th amendments in J&K, the PCC chief warned that it would be wrong if the point of view of the party was not accepted.
Soz said his party has not given up its struggle for implementation of the two amendments as without these the election of local bodies and block council would be of no use.
Soz launched scathing attack on the coalition partner NC for delaying implementation of the amendments and said, “We are in coalition and should strengthen it. We must not create or promote fissures but we are clear that unless 73rd and 74th amendment will not be implemented, you cannot empower Panchayati Raj system”.
“There are some bigger issues also and it can be that some issues have been relegated temporarily but you cannot put issues under carpet”, he added.
About the NC’s plea of article 370 coming in the way of implementation of 73rd and 74th amendment in the state, Soz said that many laws were implemented in state despite having article 370 in place and amendments in the country’s Panchayati Raj Act could also be implemented.
“Many central laws and Acts have been implemented in J&K despite having article 370. Our struggle for empowerment of Panchayati Raj institutions in the state will continue till the provisions of 73rd and 74th amendment are not introduced in the state act.”
He claimed that his party has not given up the struggle for implementation of the same. “We have constituted two committees one each in Jammu and Srinagar, which will see how to organize elections at block and village level.” Soz said.
Asked about the protest call given by Youth Congress against government for implementation of 73rd and 74th amendments, Soz said that it was working under the direct control of Rahul Gandhi and they have nothing to do with their programme.
ON SAGHEER COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
When asked about Congress stand on granting greater Autonomy to J&K as advocated by Justice Sagheer Committee recommendations and reported nod given by three Congress Ministers of Cabinet Sub-Committee, Prof Soz said it would take time to reach out on a decision over the issue.
“If they have given nod to the recommendations it can be their personal decision but as a party president I have different stand,” Soz said. He said that it was not necessary to give final nod to the recommendations of Justice Sagheer Committee report as there were number of reports pending before the Prime Minister.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 10 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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