Bill For Autonomy Introduced In JK Assembly
Independent MLA Engineer Rashid introduces Bill in JK Assembly
NEW DELHI: A recent judgement by State High Court, which termed the replacement of popularly elected 'Sadr-e-Riyasat' by Centre-appointed Governor in 1965 as "unconstitutional", has landed the regional political parties in Kashmir Valley in a fix.
Stinging the National Conference, which fights for restoring the pre-1953 autonomy enjoyed by the state, independent lawmaker Engineer Rashid Wednesday has submitted a bill in the assembly secretariat for reverting the constitutional arrangement.
The bill will come up for hearing in the upcoming budget session that commences from January 18 with the court leaving it to the legislature "to take measures to uphold" J&K's Constitution.
"The legislature is under a constitutional obligation to uphold the constitution and rectify an error, wherever necessary......To perpetuate an error is no heroism and to rectify it is compulsion of conscience," the court said.
Terming it as a "landmark judgement" Rashid said the state assembly can rectify the error if the regional parties - National Conference and PDP, join hands to pass the bill. "Ironically, the PDP, which fights for self-rule, has not spoken a word over the issue. The NC too seems confused and uninterested," Rashid said.
Rashid claimed that both the NC and the PDP have "given up" on their agendas and "succumbed" to New Delhi's pressure. He believes that his bill will meet the same fate as his earlier ones, including his recent bill, seeking abolishing of beef ban in J&K.
"These parties have exploited the people of Jammu and Kashmir For decades. They will be once again exposed in the state legislature," he said.
An NC spokesperson said the party will decide on Rashid's bill when it comes up for discussion in the state assembly, "We welcome the High Court judgement. The genesis of the political turmoil in the state lies in the erosion of J&K's state's special status and internal autonomy that was guaranteed to the state," the spokesperson said.
The PDP too seems uncertain about its moves, "It is a sensitive issue and our party legislators will decide taking into considerations the sentiments of people of Jammu and Kashmir," Beg said.
Until 1965, Jammu and Kashmir had a Wazeer-e-Azam (Prime Minister) and a Sadr-e-Riyasat (President), who was elected by the assembly. In 1965, GM Sadiq was Wazir-e-Azam and Karan Singh, Sadr-e-Riyasat. The 6th amendment to the state's constitution changed the nomenclature.