SRINAGAR: As controversy has erupted on the ‘Bharat-India’ name, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Friday challenged the Centre to ‘change’ the Constitution first if they have ‘guts’.
Talking to the reporters here, the NC leader said nobody will support the union government if it will change the Constitution to rename the country.
“Nobody can change it… It is not so easy to change the name of the country. To do this, you will have to change the Constitution of the country. If you have the guts, then do it, we will also see who supports you…,” Omar Abdullah said.
Speculations have gained ground that the Centre might change the name of the country to Bharat from India after Rashtrapati Bhawan sent out invitations for a G20 dinner on September 9 on behalf of the ‘President of Bharat’.
The opposition alleged that the government was resorting to “drama” just because they got together and called their bloc INDIA. BJP leaders have strongly supported the move by the government.
National Conference (NC) patriarch Farooq Abdullah also commented on the same on Friday and said, “Read the Constitution first; it is mentioned there that Bharat and India are one. You (media) create controversy.”
However, the Ladakh administration announced a new schedule for elections to the fifth Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) in the Kargil region, following a directive by the Supreme Court, Omar Abdullah said that his party is now looking forward to getting the support of the people in the region after the verdict.
“It is unfortunate that we had to fight for the thing that was our right as a political party. Election guidelines are very clear about the allocation of the symbol. Clearly, the administration and Ladakh had a biased agenda which is why they went all the way to the Supreme Court. But if you read the verdict, particularly the detailed judgement and the imposition of Rs 1 lakh on Ladakh administration is itself an indication how seriously the court viewed the conduct of Ladakh government,” the NC leader said.
As per the notification, elections to 26 seats of the 30-member LAHDC will be held on October 4. The LAHDC Kargil had come into effect in 2003.
As per the previous notification the Union Territory of Ladakh had announced that elections to the LAHDC were scheduled to be held on September 10 and counting to be held on September 14.
According to the new notification, the process for filing nominations will start on September 9 and the last date for filing nominations is September 16. The last date for withdrawing nominations has been fixed on September 20, it said.
The counting of votes will take place on October 8.
“Voting will be held between 8 am to 4 pm,” it said.
The notification further said that the entire election process should be completed before October 11.
The Supreme Court Wednesday set aside the August 2 notification issued by the Ladakh administration for elections to LAHDC and directed that a fresh notification be issued within seven days.
The bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanulla imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the Ladakh administration and also dismissed its appeal against an August 14 order of a division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which had upheld an interim order by a single-judge bench for grant of the ‘Plough’ poll symbol to the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC).