Jammu: Ending days of speculation, National Conference (NC) provincial president Jammu and former MLA Devender Singh Rana, along with former minister S S Salathia, on Sunday quit the party after resigning from its primary membership.
NC leadership too accepted the resignations with a brief note posted on its official Twitter handle@JKNC.
“Dr Farooq Abdullah has received & accepted the resignation of Mr Salathia and Mr Rana. No further action or comment is deemed necessary,” it tweeted.
After a few minutes, Rana changed his Twitter profile. He deleted “provincial president of NC’ from his Twitter account.
Rana, who earlier himself confirmed the news of his resignation to media persons and also that he would be leaving for Delhi, however, did not clear air vis-a-vis reports about him joining BJP.
“I’m already in Delhi. That you’ll know in the days to come but....yes, I’ve reached Delhi,” was his brief response to over the phone from Delhi, in response to a direct question if he was joining BJP.
“No..No I don’t want to get into all that ...right now. You got my statement of today..with regard to the Jammu Declaration. I don’t have to say anything...beyond it at the moment,” he said when asked as to whether he met anyone from the BJP there.
In the evening, NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar issued notification regarding elections for the post of Provincial Presidents for Jammu and Kashmir. “Senior party leaders Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan and Ali Muhammad Dar have been nominated as election officers for Kashmir province and Dr. Sheikh Mustufa Kamal and Anil Dhar for Jammu province,” the notification read.
Sagar nominated senior party leader advocate Rattan Lal Gupta as interim provincial president Jammu till elections for the post are held on October 16, 2021.
Earlier this afternoon, in Jammu after tendering his resignation, Rana, while speaking to media, said, “Yes, I’ve resigned. I along with Salathia (S S Salathia) Sahib have resigned from the primary membership of the National Conference.”
“Jammu Declaration will be the bed-rock of my political philosophy and I’m ready to make any sacrifices whatever for it (Declaration) to uphold the voice of the people of Jammu. It was propounded by me about a year back. It is the political narrative of Jammu; from Jammu; by Jammu for the inclusive Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“As of now, I’m going to Delhi. I’ll let you know tomorrow,” was his crisp response when asked if he was leaving for Delhi to join the BJP. Prior to this, before resigning, Rana, while addressing people of his erstwhile constituency, assured, “There will be no compromise on Jammu. I’ll leave politics. I’ll put my entire political career at stake but will never put the interests of Jammu at stake. When I say Jammu – it means Jammu’s Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians ...every citizen of Jammu. Jammu should get its due and to raise voice for it - is no crime. I don’t have any personal differences with the party leadership. I’ve been a soldier of the party and will continue to be so for a few hours more. I had been just waiting to meet you as I thought I was duty-bound to take the people of Dansal, Mathwar and Nagrota in confidence before making any move.”
“If I’m going to sacrifice my political career of 26 years; it’s just to avail the historic opportunity to become the “voice of Jammu.” I’ve no greed for anything. There are a lot of speculations going around about me getting some plum posts..or promises of that. But let me tell you ....the almighty will decide my destiny and nobody else. My intentions are pure and rest assured...I’ll never ever deceive you,” he added. Later in the evening, Rana’s office issued a release of his address to a public gathering from Nagorota block, which he addressed at his residence.
Vowing to pursue ‘Jammu Declaration’, a political roadmap emanating from Jammu, religiously and resolutely, Rana, in his official statement, described the “concept as key to retrieving back the glorious ethos of inclusive Jammu and Kashmir to its pristine glory again.” “Nothing will deter me in realizing this objective and I will single-mindedly work for it even at the peril of my political career,” Rana said while addressing a large gathering from Nagrota block that called on him this morning. As per release, the former MLA said that the ‘Declaration’ was a way forward to respect the urges and aspirations of all the regions and sub-regions of Jammu and Kashmir with none being discriminated against or dominated politically, socially and economically. “Each one, irrespective of region, religion or caste, must have equal rights on resources and in governance. Fair play and justice should not only be the bedrock of the political system but even the perception of one being appeased at the cost of the other due to politico-strategic expediencies should become an imperative of the past,” he said, adding, “Jammu region has hugely suffered on all these counts over the decades.”
Rana exuded confidence that the ‘Jammu Declaration’ would eventually lead to offset the fault-lines created between the regions, various segments of society, as also with the rest of the country. The trust deficit of decades was, therefore, needed to be bridged for ensuring harmony and unity between peoples, the regions and the sub-regions in this part of the country, he asserted.
He said the narrative coming from secular Jammu would set in motion the process of intra-region and inter-religious discourse, crucial for unity and harmony. “The engagement has to be holistic, between regions, sub regions, religious communities and ethnic groups. All these form the core of the land of saints and sages from times immemorial. This glorious heritage is required to be retrieved, sustained and further strengthened to bequeath posterity the great legacy of their ancestors, who made Jammu and Kashmir proud. To achieve this, a collective effort is needed to find out the genesis of fault-lines and to suggest course correction measures,” he added. He said, “Jammu Declaration has caught the imagination of the people in general and intelligentsia, civil society and the entire political class in particular, as it holds promise for marginalized segments of society and neglected regions and sub-regions. Jammu has to play a major role in making the Declaration a success and this will be a befitting contribution towards the idea of J&K and the idea of India.”
Rana urged the people of Jammu to be the flag bearers of the narrative of inclusive Jammu and Kashmir, the core of ‘Jammu Declaration’, as it did not reflect the agenda of any individual. “It is an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have suffered economically, politically and psychologically over the years. Now the time has come to end the era of uncertainty and usher in the era of peace, progress and development,” he asserted. “By holding the banner of the Jammu Declaration, we have nothing to lose but everything to gain by making J&K a better place to live in and a real jewel in the crown of our great nation,” he maintained. Referring to the sentiments expressed by the prominent persons of the Nagrota block, Rana said he was overwhelmed by the affection they bestowed upon him over the years. He said their support and cooperation had been and would be a biggest and valued treasure for him. He assured them that he would work for them with renewed vigour. “During the past two days, the people from the Mathwar and Dansal Blocks also called on Rana at his residence,” the release added.