National Conference president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said that his party is preparing to approach the Supreme Court against the Delimitation Commission’s recommendations. It believes that the very basis of the exercise is “illegal”.
The veteran politician, who has been Chief Minister of the erstwhile State three times and Union Minister, also said the time has come for the Opposition parties to come together and fight the forces bent on destroying the country’s secular fabric.
Giving a detailed account of his interactions during the Delimitation Commission meeting earlier this week, Mr Abdullah told PTI that the very first point raised “by us at the meeting was that the commission was illegal” as the party’s petition challenging the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir was pending in the Supreme Court.
However, commission chairperson Justice (retd.) Ranjana Desai countered the National Conference’s argument by saying that as far as the panel was concerned, she had been given authority by the Government and, therefore, she had done this job.
“But whatever the Supreme Court finally says, it will be binding on them (Commission) also. So that clears the position. Then they explained other parameters also…. So we are now preparing to go to the Supreme Court,” he said.
On the Supreme Court not interfering in recommendations made by previous Delimitation Commissions, Mr Abdullah said the present commission was born after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, which has been challenged in the top court, and no decision has been pronounced on it yet.
On Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh claiming after the Delimitation Commission meeting of December 20 that he and other NC members were satisfied, Mr Abdullah said, “What did he (Mr Singh) expect us to do. Fight? We are not goondas. We have no voting rights; we can only listen and put our objections which they have allowed us to do. And they have given us time till December 31. So our report will be there before that with our objections.” He said since the report is preliminary, the commission will see the upsurge that has taken place among various communities in Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated his demand for holding the delimitation exercise after the next census.
Referring to the reservation of nine seats for Scheduled Tribes and seven seats for Scheduled Castes in the commission’s preliminary report, the NC leader said, “We are not against the Scheduled Tribes reservation. Without reservation also, they had 15 members. So there is nothing new.” “The Scheduled Caste (population) has also increased over the years…Kashmiri Pandits have been hankering for this for a long time. What about them, the Sikhs and the people of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir? I am certain it will divide communities further, and that is a tragedy,” he said.
On the criticism from certain quarters over its participation in the second meeting of the Delimitation Commission, the National Conference leader said, “If we did not participate, they would still criticise us. So criticism is part of this life, and we do not get worried by criticism. On the contrary, they (critics) give us strength. Because we participated, we realised what was in it and what have they done? How have they done?”
Asked about his participation in a meeting chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi recently, Mr Abdullah said, “The unity is essential if we want to save this nation, (protect it from) further division and further damage to its existence.” “The unity is a priority, and luckily Gandhi’s efforts are to that effect. We should appreciate that she has taken this step. It is a good beginning, and I am sure this will culminate in a good unity before the 2024 election. I am sure more meetings will take place, bringing more people together as we alone cannot beat the communal forces. She has to be part of (the united opposition),” Mr Abdullah said.
On the differences between the Congress and the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, he said things have to be ironed out and “those will be ironed out, there is no doubt about it.”
“Past has to be put behind us if we want to work on the future,” he said, expressing hope that “there will be unity of purpose” among the Opposition parties.
“So this is what our intentions are that we should get this India back on the rails that we all dreamt of, and we no longer have the fear that we would be put under various draconian laws and in prison,” Mr Abdullah said.
Asked about the investigations of the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI against him, he said he would come out of these as a much stronger person. “It does not matter. This is part of life which you have to face. So you do not run away from it and I will come back as a much stronger person.”
In over two months, J&K Govt sacks 28 teachers
ACB traps, arrests Patwari while accepting bribe
Anti Corruption Bureau received a complaint wherein the complainant alleged that Abdul Aziz Dar, Patwari of Halqa Mufalpora, Tehsil and District Kupwara is demanding bribes for providing revenue extracts.
The complainant alleged that the accused Patwari was adopting delaying tactics and was not preparing revenue extracts which the complainant required for registration of sale deed for the land purchased by him recently. Moreover, had the complainant also deposited the necessary fee of 420 in the form of GR in the Tehsil office Kupwara on 14-02-2022. The complainant also alleged that Patwari had already taken a bribe of Ten thousand from them and demanded more to provide revenue extracts.
Upon receiving the instant complaint, prima facie offence U/S 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 was found made out and consequently, a case FIR No. 02/2022 was registered at P/S ACB Baramulla.
Subsequently, a trap team was constituted. The trap team caught Abdul Aziz Dar, Patwari, red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of 5000/- from the complainant. He was arrested and taken into custody by ACB Team. The bribe money was also recovered from his possession in the presence of independent witnesses.
Further investigations of the case are going on.
JKBOSE Class 10, 12 Results Likely in Second Week of February
The Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) is likely to announce the regular annual results of class 10th and 12th, of Kashmir Division, in the second week of February, an official informed on Monday.
Board of School Education Joint Secretary Prof. Aijaz Ahmad Hakak said that the processes involved are in progress.“Results are under process and have to undergo several stages before the declaration. the First stage has been completed and the second one is in process”, he said, adding most probably the results of both the classes will be declared in the second week of February if situation arisen due to COVID goes well,” Aijaz added.
Meanwhile, Director Academics BOSE, Dr Farooq Ahmad Peer, also maintained that results would be announced in the second week of February.
Pertinently, the examinations of Class 12th culminated in the 2nd week of December, while 10th exams concluded in the first week of December last year.
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