SRINAGAR: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Saturday released a white paper on BJP’s claims post the revocation of Article 370 on development, peace, jobs and investments, calling these claims ‘a pack of lies’.
Leaders of the PAGD, including those from the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Awami National Conference (ANC) and the CPI-M, met at the high-security Gupkar residence of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah here on Saturday.
The statement released at the end of the meeting also termed the Delimitation Commission’s proposals as “unconstitutional” stating that “everything is being done under the re-organisation act which itself is illegal”.
“We challenge to counter our white paper with facts. We will send the document to all the MPs, also to the President of India,” PAGD spokesman M.Y. Tarigami of the CPI-M said, adding that the development of August 5, 2019 (revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A) was a poison that will engulf all Indian states slowly.
“For us, the Delimitation Panel’s recommendations are unacceptable, all basic parameters have been thrown to wind. Why only an increase of seven seats? Why not just one or nine? On what basis seats are being increased,” asked Tarigami.
Addressing a press conference at the residence of PAGD chief Farooq Abdullah, alliance spokesman Tarigami said that all members of the alliance including, PDP chief Mehboboa Mufti, ANC vice-president Muzaffar Shah, other members Justice Hasnain Masoodi and he himself deliberated on certain important issues, including the fresh proposals and recommendations of the Delimitation Commission.
“We continue to stick to our stand that the re-organisation act is unconstitutional and illegal. We continue to hold that the August 5, 2019 decision of rolling back Article 370 was unconstitutional.
“The historic state of J&K was sliced into two halves which was nothing but a humiliation for every single citizen of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Article 370 was rolled back amid strict lockdown, internet gag and huge deployment of forces. Even internet was snapped in Jammu,” Tarigami said.
He said that they were never against delimitation as it was already agreed to have the exercise in 2026.
“But this all is being done under the re-organisation act, which itself is unconstitutional. Now delimitation is taking place without Ladakh and seven seats are being increased in J&K — one in Kashmir and six in Jammu,” he said, adding that “basic parameters for delimitation is population based on Census, topography and accessibility, but all these parameters were thrown to the wind”.
He said PAGD fails to understand why seven seats were increased and why not one or nine.
“We appeal to the people of India to listen to their conscience and understand the pain of the people of J&K,” Tarigami said.
PAGD also issued a white paper which says that claims of Naya Kashmir made by the Centre is based on falsehood and deceit and the BJP is doing things at its will by destroying the “historic India”.
“It is not new Kashmir the foundation of which was laid by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. The foundation set by Sheikh ended autocratic rule and rights were given to the real owners of land and also to the farmers,” Tarigami said.
“J&K was the only and first state where education was taken up to the university level and made free for all,” he added.
Tarigami said that BJP’s new Kashmir narrative entails UAPA, PSA and arrests besides gagging every single voice that objects to its policies.
“Whatever happened on August 5, 2019 was a forced decision. Don’t misconstrue silence of Kashmiris, Jammuites and Ladakhis as acceptance of August 5, 2019 decisions,” Tarigami said.
“Article 370 was a bridge between India and the people of J&K under the Constitution of India. Rolling back special status also hit the relation made at the point when J&K people acceded with India. Revocation of Article 370 was an assault on the Constitution of India and J&K’s identity. Tomorrow, Bengal and Tamil Nadu will become another Kashmir,” he added.
Tarigami urged India’s civil society to listen to the woes of the people.
“In the white paper, we have clarified that whether Article 370 can be rolled back, whether Article 35-A can be removed,” he said, adding: “We challenge the J&K administration and the BJP government to counter our white paper with its own white paper. We challenge the BJP government on providing jobs, investment and development.”
He said that terming real estates an investment can be gauged from the fact how real estate is suffering at all-India level.
“What real estate are you talking? Tell us how many youth from Jammu have got jobs post Article 370 revocation, let alone Kashmir,” he asked, adding: “We will invite all MPs for a discussion and will also send copies to the President of India.”
He appealed to the people of J&K irrespective of their political affiliations to understand the nature of assault imposed on J&K.
“This assault has become a poison which can reach Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and other states. We appeal to Indian intelligentsia, civil society and the press to understand the pain of Kashmiris,” Tarigami said. — IANS