Assembly passes autonomy resolution for second time
5 March 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: In less than a period of two years the autonomy resolution was passed by State Assembly for the second time today with a voice vote amidst protest by BJP members. Reiterating the National Conference (NC) Governmentís commitment to greater autonomy for J&K, the Minister of State for Law, Mr Mushtaq Ahmed Lone said this House has already passed a resolution in 2,000 in this regard. He asserted that State Government will continue to press it as restoration of autonomy is unfinished agenda of NC. The Minister was speaking on a private Memberís resolution which was moved by Mr Saifullah Mir of NC and seconded by his Party colleague Mohammed Shafi Akhoon. The Minister while strongly supporting the resolution said we were promised autonomy by the former Prime Minister and on this plank our Party fought the 1996 Assembly elections. ''The people of the J&K gave us mandate on the issue and agenda of restoration of autonomy'', he said, adding soon after the Government came to power it constituted a Committee for the same on the basis of whose recommendations the resolution was adopted in the Legislature later. He however, regretted the way Union Cabinet rejected it without debate and discussion. He while blaming Centre for not fulfilling its commitment said the resolution has now become a historical document and NC Government will pursue it. He said the State Government adopted this resolution in a bid to strengthen the Centre, state bonds and it is the only answer to fulfill the peoples aspirations. Earlier moving the resolution, Mir Saifullah of NC strongly advocated for restoration of autonomy to J&K State. He said we have been granted this Constitutional status which can not be denied now. He criticised the Central Government for rejecting the resolution in the Cabinet Committee without debate and discussion and maintained that autonomy is our right and we are not begging for it. Supporting him Mohammed Shafi Akhoon said autonomy reflects the peoples aspirations and hence NC is committed to its restoration. The BJP members present in the House tried to interrupt the members but in vain. The Party chief whip Ch. Piara Singh while intervening the debate said this resolution will also meet the same fate as the earlier one which was rejected by the Union Government.