Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president, Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the upcoming elections the UT will not be fought basis facilities like roads, electricity and water, but for the identity of the people.
“Normally elections are contested for the development and other basic facilities but this time the upcoming elections will be fought for identity,” Omar said, Adding, “So that land, jobs and other rights will be there for the people of the UT.”
Former CM made these statements while addressing party workers at Dooru area of Anantnag district in South Kashmir. Elections will be contested for our own identity, he said and appealed people to participate in the upcoming poll whenever held in the UT.
Omar said the National Conference government will repeal controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) on the first day if his party came to power in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Public Safety Act was first enacted by the J-K government headed by National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 to curb timber smuggling. The law, which provides for detention of up to two years without trial, was used against terrorists and separatists after the eruption of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.
“They (Centre) have only kept those (old) laws here which can be used to harass the people. There is no (Public) Safety Act anywhere in the country… it is only in Jammu and Kashmir. I have said it earlier and I repeat when National Conference government comes, on the first day, this law will be repealed,” Omar told the party workers.
While the Centre did away with a large number of laws passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, PSA was one of the few laws that were retained even after abrogation of Article 370 and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
About development and benefits after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A), Omar asserted that the promises made by the BJP proved hoax. “Three years passed, the BJP led government has failed to execute developmental projects, or bring new projects,” he said.
“During our time, we might have been able to get only 70 per cent of the work done, but this administration has failed to get even 10 per cent done,” he added.
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He accused the Centre of taking away the resources and jobs of local people by bringing outsiders in the Union territory.
“The mineral extraction contracts are given to outsiders…Even the postman who delivers letters will be brought in from other places. Our youth are not deemed fit for these jobs,” Abdullah claimed.
“I would have had no objection to these things but then they should take our youth and give them jobs in Haryana, Punjab, UP and other states. They should allow our contractors to do mining in Punjab. But they won’t do it,” he added.
Abdullah said a National Conference government will ensure that the land and the resources of Jammu and Kashmir are reserved for locals only.
Omar while appealing the masses to participate in the upcoming elections said that people need to partake so as to save our identity and answer them with their votes.