Need of hour to forge unity to protect J&K’s identity: Rather.

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Senior National Conference leader and former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rathar on Thursday called for forging unity to protect interests of the state, saying that the “state is facing an edgy situation in wake of numerous onslaughts on its integrity and identity”.

Addressing workers’ convention at Bandipura, Charar-e-Sharief, Rather said: “Today, we are facing such times when we have to remain extra cautious. Today, the very identity and integrity of our state is under threat. Never have we seen government of India making unambiguous and apparent remarks on obliteration of special status of state,” Rather said former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while addressing a gathering here, had categorically affirmed to protect the special status of the state.

“But today’s BJP has a different and more radical stance. Today we have a dispensation at centre that is affront against Article 370 and Article 35A,” he said.

While flaying the BJP-RSS for “destroying the secular visage” of the country Rather said the great leaders like Mahata Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Maulana Azad took immense pains and idealized a dream of India where everyone was equal. “However, the present appalling situation in the country would be traumatizing their souls,” he said.

Flaying PDP for its “colossal betrayal” of public trust, he said, “In a first we made an outreach and offered unconditional support to the Mufti sahib in order keep BJP out of the power corridors. However our earnest offer was turned down by PDP. What followed is history. What good was achieved by our government until 2014 was put into an abyss.”

“The past few years saw no accomplishments vis-à-vis employment generation, reduction of forces, return of power projects. On the contrary the PDP-BJP rule saw the implementation of GST, NFSA in the state. Our state saw numerous onslaughts from all sides,” Rather said.

While hitting out at PDP for implementing GST in the state, he said, “They hunkered down for the sake of power and chair, not to talk of preserving what was left of our autonomy; PDP implemented the national food security act and GST Act thereby destroying the very fiscal autonomy of our state. The BJP-PDP combine severely put to distress the ordinary populace of the state,” Rather said.

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