Starts campaign for Jammu Declaration

" Why not a Jammu narrative on J&K, Indo Pak relations be best left to New Delhi, NC is a secular cadre based party" says Devender rana

Jammu, April 08 (KNS): Senior National Conference leader Devender Singh Rana has started a campaign for Jammu Declaration which he says will create a Jammu narrative for J&K.

“I have started working for the Jammu declaration. It is an effort of Jammu, for J&K by building a consensus among politicians, intellectuals, academicians of Jammu division. Jammu declaration emanating out of Pluralistic Jammu for J&K will represent the aspirations of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and all regions & sub regions–Kupwara to Lakhanpur, Poonch to Shalibugh , Gurez to Bani Basholi. The divide needs to be bridged. Jammu should also have a narrative about Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir belongs to all. We should make J&K strong, it will make the Nation strong. I am confident Kashmiri Muslim who is secular by conviction will welcome any constructive narrative emanating from Jammu. I have invited almost 70 persons to guide the Jammu Declaration which includes intellectuals and leaders across party lines, 37 people have responded. I have requested all to keep their political ideologies apart and rise above party lines,” he told Kashmir News Service (KNS) in an interview.  

On being asked for the need of creation of Jammu Declaration, he said, he feels there is a need for a narrative from Jammu by Jammu for J&K. “If Kashmir can give narrative, Jammu too can, after all Kashmir belongs to me as much as Jammu belongs to you and Jammu and Kashmir belongs to all of us”, he said.

NC leader also said that Jammu Declaration is not his exclusive right, “This is my individual effort, and it has nothing to do with my party. It stuck in my mind when I was in Thanamandi for a rally. We are part of Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu will decide over the way forward after building consensus and come out with a narrative for J&K which is inclusive. Some issues can be contentious. Those issues can be kept aside for time being.”

On being asked about Indo Pak relations, he said the Indo Pak relations are best left to Delhi.  There is a government and a Prime Minister who has the overwhelming mandate of the country and is best placed to resolve Indo-Pak issues.

There is a need to unite and move forward and fight for preserving the identity of the people of J&K and consolidate its status as the crown of India and take it forward. Everyone should strive to make it strong.” 

Regarding a question whether Jammu declaration will also demand Chief Minister from Jammu, he said, Chief Ministership is not the agenda of Jammu Declaration, whosoever will get majority, he will become CM, anyone can become CM in a Democracy.

Asked about his reaction on some crucial party internal issues , he said he will express his views in the party Working committee meeting and not in a public fora.

Asked about the present state of affairs in J&K, Rana said that everyone in fact all who have been connected with the affairs of J&K in whatever capacity in the last 70 years have to shoulder the responsibility for J&K as it exists today and can just not pass the buck.

On being asked about restoration of article 370, he said, “J&K has been part of India and will always remain so. We should work for the betterment of the people. We should ensure that our identity is secured. We should come closer to each other. Trust deficit and fault lines within the State need to be addressed through inter-region, intra regional dialogues. I cannot talk about 370 right now. It is subjudice in the apex court”

He also rubbished reports of the weakening of the National Conference, “NC is a cadre based party. NC is a secular party and it shall continue to be so.”

Rana added in a democracy people are assets. “People will decide which party will lead. We should restore the faith of people by representing their aspirations, “he said, “I will strive to bridge Jammu and Kashmir. We should come closer. Fault lines have to be erased. Every section of society has to live together in J&K. Everyone knows what terrorism sponsored by Pakistan did to us. Terrorism should not be tolerated".

Rana also said leaders should seek protection of land, jobs and a roadmap to address unemployment and un- employability should be framed. (KNS)

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