Opposition disrupts J&K Assembly, Governors address, CM Mehbooba calls for dialogue  

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SRINAGAR: The Jammu & Kashmir assembly that begins today witness ruckus as the members of the National Conference and Congress stood up shouting slogans against the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government during the Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra’s opening address to a joint session.

The governor asked the members to remain seated and tried to start his address. But as he began to start his address, members continued to disrupt his speech. Governor started his address amid sloganeering by opposition members.

As Vohra continued with his speech, the opposition members raised slogans “Jumuriyat Ka Qaatilo Hosh Mei Aawo.” “PDP, BJP Hie Hie.” Finally, as the Governor started his address amid sloganeering, the opposition members staged a walk out.

Opposition party in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today expressed serious concern over the prevailing situation in the state. In a memorandum submitted to Governor NN Vohra, National Conference said that continued political vacuum that has affected the State’s Human Rights situation, economy and growth adversely.

“The present dispensation has failed to protect the special status guaranteed to the State and its people under Article 370 and 35-A of the Constitution of India,” the memorandum said.

The memorandum said that the already alarming level of alienation in the Valley, as evidenced by a sharp rise in militancy, has been further accentuated by repeated attempts to undermine Jammu and Kashmir’s unique political identity and the sentiments of the people.

“Jammu and Kashmir National Conference has been of the consistent opinion that the issue in J&K is that of a political nature and deserves a sustained, holistic and comprehensive political engagement”.

The party reiterated their stand seeking a meaningful and result-oriented political dialogue with all shades of opinion.

According to the memorandum, National Conference registered its disappointment at the State Government’s failure to prevent the loss of civilian lives despite repeated assurances of restraint and accountability in such cases.

The memorandum mentioned the recent killings of two young mothers in Kashmir during counter-insurgency operations.  “Not only has the State Government failed to prevent such atrocities, it has also utterly and completely failed to deliver justice in such cases. The sense of impunity that surrounds such incidents is thriving under the patronage of the State Government which has had little to offer apart from rhetoric. Therefore, we want to reiterate our demand for an immediate cessation to such atrocities and swift and effective justice in all such cases”.

The party also expressed concern about the mass crackdowns and search operations ‘where entire villages are ransacked and civilians subjected to harassment and humiliation’.

The memorandum said that unemployment and un-employability are two major challenges before the State. “On both counts the Government has miserably failed. This has lead to discontent among the youth of the State which can have dangerous consequences and thus should have been a priority of the State Government”.

The party also said that transparency in recruitment is a casualty and is replaced by blatant backdoor appointments.  Taking on the state government, National Conference said that it has failed to deliver on its promise to ensure the return of Power Projects as per Rangarajan Committee Report.

“Infact the Government of India has refused to return the Power Projects on the floor of the Parliament, which is a major setback to the State”.

“The State is witnessing an unprecedented power-crisis due to the failure of the State Government to make key infrastructural upgradations and changes in the power distribution system well in time thereby causing great inconvenience to the people”.

National Conference also expressed concern over the lack of essential commodities in the state. “The State Government has failed to ensure the availability of essential commodities and rations to the people of the State. This has resulted in unimaginable misery to the people, especially the lesser privileged sections of the society. This has been a regular feature of this Government’s insensitivity since the past almost three years. This needs immediate redressal as it concerns the dignified survival of the people”.

National Conference said that the State’s Tourism Industry is in a state of crisis and unprecedented recession due to the failure of the State Government to ensure an atmosphere of peace and stability and work with stakeholders in the industry to resuscitate the sector which provides livelihood and succour to a vast chunk of our population.

“We demand immediate, concrete and effective steps should be taken to restore the Tourism Industry in the State without any further delay”.

Meanwhile, MLA Langate continued his  protest in order to disrupt Governor speech and raised issues of HR violation carried by government forces in state.  Engineer Rashid also staged protest outside the assembly Secretariat. Demanding Right to self Determination for Kashmiri’s’, Rasheed said that the only solution to the Kashmir issue is right to self-determination.  “Right to self-determination is the only solution to Kashmir issue” Rasheed said.

“If Kashmir is not an issue then what is Dineshwar Sharma doing in J&K. Why India is talking to separatists?” Rasheed asked.

Congress legislator Usman Majeed said that “Murderers of democracy. Answer people,” read a placard raised by Usman Majeed, as he tried to move forward. “Restore the dignity of Panchayati Raj Act,” read another play card carried by another member.

Speaking to reporters outside the house, Congress Legislative Party leader Rigzin Jora and NC MLA Alib Mohmmad Sagar said that government had “failed” on all fronts from security to governance front.

 “Security situation has deteriorated badly in Kashmir. Highest number of security forces have been killed. But Government is saying that situation is moving towards peace and normalcy. Only yesterday, 5 CRPF men were killed in a suicide attack”, Jora said.

“There is no improvement in the security situation and the reality is that the situation is getting worse with each passing day since the PDP and BJP came together to form the government,” Jora charged.

Meanwhile Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on twitter “I firmly believe that dialogue is the core of a vibrant parliamentary democracy. Looking forward to a fructuous winter session of the J&K assembly,” Mehbooba tweeted. (PTK)