Strong NC indispensable for protection of vital interests of people of J&K: Omar Abdullah

‘Jobs and contracts that were meant for locals going to outsiders’

‘Jobs and contracts that were meant for locals going to outsiders’

Inderwal, Nov 30 (KNS): The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said a strong National Conference is the need of the hour to keep the divisive forces at bay and protect the vital interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

While addressing a massive public gathering at TRC Chatroo in Inderwal constituency, Omar said August 05 2019 decisions were a wake-up call for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that had NC been voted to power in 2015, no one would have dared to touch the unique constitutional status of J&K.

Among others General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Provincial President Jammu Rattan Lal Gupta, Zone President Sajjad Kichloo, Adviser to VP Tanvir Sadiq ,YNC Provincial President Jammu Aijaz Jan, Chairperson DDC Kishtwar Pooja Thakur, Pyare Lal, Jaffar Wani were present on the occasion. The public meet was organized by Pyare Lal.

"It was our absence that emboldened them to pursue such a drastic step. Our mere presence would have deterred them from taking such unilateral decisions. Today I'm not here to canvas for elections, I'm not here to seek votes. Whenever the elections are held, I will come at that time to seek your votes on a specific agenda. Today I'm here to caution you about the ongoing strides of these forces on your rights. The attacks on our constitutional rights have not seen any cessation. On the contrary our rights continue to be encroached upon steadily. It is you people who can arrest this attack on the few remaining rights we have. Supporting NC morally and electorally is more needed at this time than it was ever before," he said.

Stating that Chenab region has suffered immensely due to the liquidation of their employment prospects post August 2019, he said the outsourcing of jobs and small contracts on all major Dams, road and rail infrastructure projects in Chenab districts has deeply hurt the economic and employment interests of people of Chenab, who ideally should have the first right over their resources. To averse this trend, he said the people of Chenab have to keep supporting NC.

Much of the infrastructure built up in the region, he said, came up during successive NC-led governments. The region he maintained was given more administrative units during NC's tenure. "Much of the good work initiated in our time wasn't continued. The region has been shunted out of developmental radar, there is no semblance of good governance in the entire region, which has traditionally suffered on the development front due to its severe topography," he said.

“The idea behind bringing major power and infra- projects to the Chenab region was to perk up the employment scenario in this region, but unfortunately after the special status was snatched from us, our jobs, our land rights and our exclusive rights on our resources were also curtailed,” he added.

The Chenab region, he maintained, has been at the receiving end. "The jobs and contracts that were meant for locals went to outsiders. Today you have no rights over your mineral resources including the water. This region provides electricity to lakhs of households but the majority of the households here are still reeling under darkness,” he added.

"During our tenure, we sought to give land to landless under the Roshni scheme, but today machinations are underway to snatch the land from our poor Gujjar and Pahari  brethren,” he said.

He said that it is this brewing alienation, and disempowerment, NC is fighting at all fronts. "This is the fight for our rights, our land, our future generations, our unemployed youth, our poor, and especially for the disempowered sections of society in Chenab Valley. We will continue with our fight with people's support, peacefully, democratically, constitutionally, and legally," he said.

Emphasizing that NC will give primacy to local candidates in assembly elections whenever it takes place, he said, “Bottoms-up approach based on wider consultations with our workers will be the core of our strategy in the forthcoming elections. No candidate will be airdropped in Inderwal.” (KNS)

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