‘No need to scrap Article 35-A, GoI responsible for current situation’

Srinagar, September 02:

National Conference (NC) President and Member of Parliament, Farooq Abdullah Saturday said Panchayat polls were necessary and people should understand that their future would improve by participating in these elections.

Addressing a gathering at the India-wide launch of county’s new banking behemoth, India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), Abdullah said the decision to conduct Panchayat polls had been taken by the State government not by India or Pakistan and this decision would help people safeguard their future if they wanted to improve villages.

“Several parties will try not to make these elections happen as their stomach gets loaded by our miseries. Today our hotels and houseboats are vacant, Shikarawalas and tourist destinations are carving for tourists. Business sector is completely in shambles,” the three-time chief minister said in presence of Governor Satya Pal Malik.

“Nothing is left, and I wonder I will die one day because of the same attitude,” he said. “People should try and stand up. Although I know this is not easy as they won’t allow us to do so, as those whose are serving on our blood will never want peace to prevail.”

Taking a dig at Government of India (GoI), Abdullah said they were also responsible for the current situation in the State.

“There is no fun in tinkering with Article 35-A. These things hurt the sentiments of the people and the government should understand they need to win the hearts of the people,” he said. “Elections are important and if you want your future to be fruitful, you should let these elections happen and contribute in every possible way to make the future of our children so that they are able to compete with children of other states.”

Abdullah said that was possible only if schools remain open.

“Otherwise, a dark future is in store for our children. If we want our future to be bright, we should first ensure first the future of our children is bright,” he said. “All is possible when we stand together and try to figure out where the problem lies. Time will come when peace will prevail and our ties with Pakistan will get stronger because they are our neighbors and we should prepare for that day.”

Welcoming the launch of IPPB, Abdullah said the initiative would give a fillip to rural economic activities and help implement welfare schemes at the grass-root level.

He said post offices were the basic institutions connected with the common man and the financial services were a step in right direction that would directly help the rural population and meet their requirements.

Abdullah said the post offices were still rendering valuable services across India and had become even more relevant in rural areas.

He appreciated GoI for further strengthening these ground level financial institutions.

Courtesy: Rising Kashmir