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Day-long women convention at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan

Farooq asks women to gear up for Panchayat elections

Jammu, Nov 24 (KNS): National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday exhorted women to gear up for upcoming Panchayat elections in a big way, saying reservation of 33 per cent will enable their larger involvement in decision making in the democratic institutions at the grass roots level.
“Panchayats are key to political empowerment of women”, Dr Abdullah said while addressing a day-long women convention at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.
The convention was organized by the former MLA Bimla Luthra.
Dr Farooq Abdullah favoured larger role for women in shaping destiny of the society and the state, saying panchayats and local bodies’ institutions could be catalyst of change in this regard. The women continue to suffer from discrimination and conditions were required to be created for their growth as equal partners in the decision making. A beginning has to be made by women themselves for their empowerment and economic emancipation, he said and urged the opinion leaders among women to fan out in their areas and identity public spirited candidates for the elections.
Cautioning against machinations of divisive forces, Dr Farooq Abdullah called for maintaining strict vigil as elements inimical to communal amity and harmony would attempt to create mistrust by generating euphoria over religion being under threat and danger. “There has never ever been any threat to religions but elements with vested interest always generate fear psychosis to safeguard their own malicious interests”, he added.
National Conference President expressed concern over communal posturing of vested interests and said this tendency is in conflict with the spirit of togetherness, accommodation and tranquillity. He said the society will progress only when the people at large maintain their time-tested heritage and isolate those creating wedge for petty political ends. “Time has come when forces inimical to peace and unity are completely isolated”, he said and urged the party cadre to work for forging unity and amity between various segments of society.
Dwelling upon challenges confronted to the State, Dr Farooq Abdullah reiterated that nothing is going to change with the present status of Jammu and Kashmir. While this side of the state will continue to remain part of India, the POK will be under Pakistan.
The National Conference President invoked the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee saying that the sanctity of the Line of Control could not be trampled by crossing over during Kargil incursion. He also referred to return of the strategically crucial Haji Peer, conquered in 1965 and said National Conference had not advocated for this but Indian nation as such took this decision.
Dr Farooq Abdullah also referred to the plight of women in Jammu and Kashmir and said that the present coalition dispensation is depriving women of old age and widow pensions. The prices of essentials and LPG are increasing as a result of which poor were suffering hugely. He criticized the present government for its anti-poor policies and said that jobs have become out of reach for eligible and poor job-seekers. Nepotism and favouritism are ruling the roost, he added.
The National Conference President said that the previous PDP led government and the present dispensation have put development in backburner as a result of which problems of the people were accumulated. He said the government has not been able to optimally harness the resources, especially on hydel power front and the state is suffering as a consequence
. He also questioned the rationale being adopted in release of widow pensions and expressed concern over pendency of 25,000 applications for disposal with the present government.
National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar as also Provincial President Devender Singh Rana and Nasir Aslam Wani addressed the convention.
Speaking on the occasion, former MLA Bimla Luthra listed various problems confronted to women and accused the PDP-BJP government of delaying pensions to eligible women and shrinking the opportunities to progress and prosper.
Luthra recalled the initiatives taken during successive governments under National Conference and said these have been negated by the present dispensation.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included, Satwant Kour Dogra Provincial President Women Wing, Vijay Laxami Dutta Provincial Vice President, Deepender Kour, former legislator, Veena Oberia, Dilshad Malik Provincial Secretary, Anju Grover, Komal Manhas, Sarika Jamwal, Rani, Raj, Bharti, Jyoti, Radha and others. (KNS)

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