Protecting Art 35A, 370 our main plank: Farooq

National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday flagged protection of Articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution besides grant of regional autonomy to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as main plank of his party while exuding confidence that it will form next government in the state on its own.

“Gear up for assembly elections”, Dr Farooq Abdullah told enthusiastic National Conference workers and functionaries at a reception at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this morning, on his arrival after clean sweep of the party in all the three Lok Sabha seats it contested in just concluded elections.

He declared that National Conference is well poised to register massive victory in all the three regions in the upcoming assembly elections and assured that after formation of the government with absolute majority, it will work towards fulfilling the regional aspirations of the people by grant of regional autonomy under the superintendence of the state government. He said no section of the society should nurture a feeling of deprivation. This is in consonance with the policies and programmes of his party which has all along strived for equal opportunities to every segment of the society and all the three regions. He solicited the support of the people in this effort and emphasized the need for strengthening bonds between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists.

“Our agenda is to foster amity and bridge the gap between various sections of the society”, he said, adding that pluralistic ethos and inclusiveness is the greatest strength of the state. He also pledged that his party will work towards dignified return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes and hearths in the Valley. He said restoration of peace is a pre-requisite, which has to be restored in the state.

Dr Farooq Abdullah said taking all the people along is political philosophy of National Conference, adding that his party believes in healthy political discourse. “We have to maintain and promote decency in politics”, he said and lauded the cadre for keeping away from reactionary politics. He stressed the need for strengthening the party, saying this will keep the cadre in good stead to face challenges confronted to the state.

On the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls, Dr Farooq Abdullah congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hoped that justice will be done with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said rights of the people are needed to be protected and a sense of security instilled among them. He said the Centre will have to walk an extra mile in reaching out to the people, expedite development, complete rail project to link Kashmir with railways on immediate basis and lay emphasis on dependable road communication. He expressed concern over frequent road closures on the Srinagar Jammu highway and said this aspect is required to be taken care of for the sake of smooth mobility.

He said India belongs to all and this spirit has to be promoted and strengthened at all costs.

Congratulating Dr Farooq Abdullah, Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said this reinforces peoples’ immense faith in his and Omar Abdullah’s leadership.

 “Dr Sahib is a towering leader, not only of the country but of the subcontinent as well, whose contribution has been gigantic in improving the condition of the people and strengthening bonds between different sections of the population”, he said.