Akali Dal for thorough debate on J&K resolution
7 July 2000
Times of India
New Delhi: The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which initially sought to distance itself from the autonomy resolution adopted by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, has now said it should have been put to a thorough debate rather than rejecting it outright. ''Instead of rushing to reject the autonomy resolution of Jammu and Kashmir, it should have been put to a thorough debate,'' party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Balwinder Singh Bhundar said here on Friday. He recalled that like the J&K resolution, his party''s autonomy document, the Anandpur Sahib resolution, demanding more powers to states, was also blown out of proportion by the then ruling party, Congress, which even dubbed it ''a secessionist Khalistani document.'' The same party which described the Anandpur Sahib resolution as ''untouchable'' referred to it before the Sarkaria commission on Centre-state relations and some of its clauses were brought to discussion and even included in the Rajiv-Longowal accord of September 1985, he said. The Akali leader found no problem in debating the J&K autonomy resolution within the Constitution of the country and said the democratic polity could effectively work only if the states were given back all the powers usurped away by the Centre during Congress rule after Independence.