After attending the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24, the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir on Sunday reiterated the demand of restoring statehood but avoided touching contentious issues like restoration of Article 370 and 35-A.
During his interaction with media persons after the all-party meeting, Mir said, “as of now the party is focussing only on the restoration of statehood to J&K.”
When his attention was drawn towards the demand for restoration of Article 370 and 35-A, Mir said that there was no point to discuss such issues as the Union Government has made up its mind. “Right now, full statehood is what we are aiming for, other issues will be solved through judiciary,” he said.
Congress avoiding contentious issues
Since the abrogation of Article 370, Congress leadership is avoiding echoing the demand of restoring this article. Former Union Minister and ex-leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad had also avoided raising the issue of Article 370.
During a recent meeting of the J&K Congress on June 7, all issues pertaining to the Union Territory was thoroughly discussed but party leaders could not raise the demand of reinstating Article 370 and 35-A.
Interestingly Congress leadership had demanded statehood with constitutional guarantees, but the party has not elaborated “constitutional guarantees.”
The party said the more delay in restoring statehood was bound to cause more disconnect between Centre and people of J&K, who were feeling hurt after the Centre’s move to downgrade the historical and full-fledged State into two Union Territories without their consent. The Centre has to address that disconnect, at right earnest, keeping in view the urges and aspirations of the people.
Congress hopeful of getting statehood soon
Mir said that all the political parties of different shades have responded to the call of the Prime Minister, which is a positive indication for the way forward. “Now it is for the Prime Minister to respond to this gesture and the ball is in the court of the central government for follow up positive outcome of the meeting to create conducive atmosphere for future exercise for the early restoration of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir”, he said.
J&K Congress president, who was part of the party’s three-member delegation that attended June 24 meeting, said the initiative was in the right direction for a healthy democracy.