NC's Autonomy Demand A Ploy: PDP
30 April 2009
The Indian Express
: Describing the demand of autonomy by ruling National Conference as a 'ploy to retain power', opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday said its arch rival was raising the slogan to 'hoodwink' the people. 'Restoration of autonomy is only a political slogan for the NC to hoodwink people, for its real and only objective is to gain and retain power at any cost,' senior PDP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beg said while addressing a series of election rallies in Uri sector of Baramulla district. Beg alleged that even during the rallies in Jammu region, where NC is backing the Congress candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats, the Chief Minister and his party colleagues did not raise the autonomy issue even once. Beg said NC contested the 2008 assembly polls with the restoration of autonomy as its main plank and attacked the Congress for eroding it. 'But NC again entered into an alliance with the same party without even insisting on its demand on the question of autonomy,' he said. 'The NC failed to achieve its objective of restoring state's autonomy to pre'1953 level even on occasions when it had more than two-third majority in the state assembly,' he alleged. 'How does it hope for the acceptance of its demand when its strength in the assembly is not even one-fourth of the 87-member House and when even its allies sharing power with it are also opposed to such a demand,' Beg questioned.