Jammu: National Conference president and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah Wednesday stated that restoring peace in J&K, which is passing through its most difficult phase and governance deficit, would be his party’s priority.
He stated after announcing to field former Chief Secretary B R Kundal, who joined the party at a function earlier today, as NC candidate for the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency.
“The state is passing through a most difficult phase due to political instability and governance deficit in recent years and therefore the people are looking towards us with hope”, the National Conference President said, adding that the party would strive to assuage their political aspirations and instill much needed sense of security.
Farooq said exuded confidence that given his vast and varied experience as a top bureaucrat, Kundal would enjoy massive support of the people in the upcoming polls. He described Kundal, ex-Congress minister and presently president Dharmarth Trust, as a versatile administrator and said that having served in all the three regions, he left an indelible mark of public service.
“This spirit will stand him in good stead in his new role in public life,” Farooq said, adding that his joining would not only strengthen further the party at grass roots level but also enthuse all those working for steering the state to peace and normalcy.
Farooq exhorted the cadre to close their ranks and gear up for meeting challenges faced to the state and said efforts would have to be redoubled to restore peace. He said history stands testimony how National Conference withstood challenges by offering numerous sacrifices to uphold the dignity of the people. He said the party had a track record of serving people of all the three regions, irrespective cast, creed and religion, adding this spirit was needed to be sustained and promoted by weathering all odds unitedly. He said focused attention was needed to fullfil the deep yearning of people to live dignified and peaceful life. He reiterated that National Conference is committed to uplift the conditions of poor and weaker segments of society.
Farooq also urged the workers, who he said were visible in every nook and corner of the state, to work for strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood, which had been political philosophy of National Conference. He said elements inimical to unity and brotherhood would have to be isolated.
Reposing his faith in the policies and programmes of National Conference, Kundal said that he would carry forward this mission with sincerity of purpose. He expressed his gratitude to the leadership for reposing faith in him and said he would try to meet their expectations.
Kundal said he was privileged to have worked with the National Conference leadership during the times it governed the state and added that he learned a lot by the wisdom, experience and sagacity of its ministers from time to time. He said his service in all the three regions had all along been inspiring for him to work with renewed vigour and dedication.
Having sought premature retirement as Chief Secretary, B R Kundal remained a minister and Congress MLC. He is currently President of Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust.
Provincial president Devender Singh Rana welcomed Kundal in the party-fold and dwelt upon his administrative and political career. Senior leaders, former MPs, former ministers, top functionaries and former legislators were present on the occasion, who included Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal, Mohammed Shafi Uri, Abdul Rahim Rather, Mian Altaf Ahmed, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Surjeet Singh Slathia, Abdul Gani Malik, Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari and Sajjad Kichloo.