Jammu, January 23 | Seeking early restoration of democracy in J&K and holding of early assembly polls, Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and former Minister said that the erstwhile state was being illegitimately deprived of popular govt. in violation of constitutional guarantees as well as the ‘obiter dicta’ laid down by the Apex court over the subject.
“A remote-controlled system of governance could not be the solution for woes and sufferings of the people of J&K. It’s the local leaders and local Ministers and elected MLAs who could better address the concerns of their people and bail them out from their sufferings and pains”, said Harsh Dev. The Ministers from outside the state, despite their best of efforts, could not be the substitute for legitimate, elected govt. which alone could address the peculiar problems of the new set up”, asserted Singh.
Taking a dig at the centre’s move of deputing a team of Ministers to J&K to educate the people over Art 370 abrogation and withdrawal of special status, Harsh Dev said that J&K residents knew more about the scrapped law than anybody else. He said that the majority of the visiting Ministers had merely read about the said law in books and media but the people of J&K had lived and experienced the law. “They had gone through the unique experience in the country of having been subjected to two different sets of laws, two constitutions and two flags.
There was no need, as such, to lecture them on the so-called benefits of scrapping the said Article. If at all, the Central Ministers had any role in the changed set up, it was to enact a law on domicile for the residents of J&K so as to save their lands and Jobs. The Union Ministers further needed to take initiative for early restoration of statehood to J&K which had been demoted unjustly creating resentment amongst people in both regions of the state”, maintained Harsh Dev.
Questioning the inordinate delay in holding Assembly elections the new UT, the NPP Chairman said that the centre’s proxy rule in J&K was antithetical to democracy and amounted to the subversion of the constitution. “The constitution categorically provided for a federal system of governance with timely elections for the Union as well as state legislatures. The people can’t be deprived of their legitimate rights to have an elected govt. of their own. And if Municipal and Panchayat elections could be held in J&K, there was no justification in denying the Assembly elections. Any further delay would only amount to a violation of Indian constitution which the centre claims to have extended to the UT of J&K. It would further be violative of the directives of Supreme Court which have held that election should be completed within six months in all those states/UTs wherein the assemblies are dissolved prematurely”, divulged Harsh.