Kashmir autonomy motion may be put to vote today
25 June 2000
Times of India
Srinagar: The resolution on greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be put to vote in the Aassembly on Monday as pressure mounted on the ruling National Conference to adopt it on the last day of the special session of the House. Notwithstanding Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah''s indication a few days ago that the resolution would not be put to vote, most of the NC members are in favour of adopting the resolution and throwing the ball in the Centre''s court, party sources said here. The NC has a two-thirds majority in the House and would face no problem in pushing through the resolution despite stiff opposition from the BJP and the Congress. The mood of the ruling party members favouring autonomy was evident during the past four days in the assembly with all of them blaming the Centre for the ills of the state. Senior NC leaders, including Maulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari and works minister A M Sagar, favoured adopting the autonomy resolution, the sources said. Ansari, a former minister, said unless autonomous status of the state was restored, there would no peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to the proposed talks between the Hurriyat Conference and the Centre, he said this would complicate the matter further. Alleging that the Hurriyat Conference was the creation of the Centre, Ansari said that the Hurriyat had no representative character and any move by the Centre to initiate a dialogue with it would mean ''thrusting gunmen on the people of the state.''