NC To Woo People On Article 370, Kashmir Solution

28 October 2014
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: With the Assembly elections round the corner, the ruling National Conference has decided to raise Article 370 and restoration of internal autonomy for settlement of Kashmir to woo voters. The party leaders, especially its old guards who have been tasked with framing the poll manifesto in a manner that fits in the present situation, have done some ground work and are waiting for Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's return from London to give the document a final shape. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Chairman of NC's Election Manifesto Committee, Muhammad Shafi (Uri) said NC will focus on ensuring proper relief and rehabilitation of the flood-hit victims, during and after the elections. 'But there are other serious issues as well. We can't sideline political matters. We have to put forth our stand with regard to Article 370 given the BJP's take on it,' he said. The NC leader, who has been given mandate from Uri Assembly segment of North Kashmir's Baramulla district, said the party will talk about 'necessity of implementing internal autonomy for resolving the vexed Kashmir issue.' A senior NC leader said: 'Some things linked with the political fate of J&K need to be kept in the manifesto. This will give colour to the poll campaign and clear the party's stand on such issues. Besides, people need to know what NC's stand on Article 370 is.' Shafi (Uri ) said the document will be released in next few weeks. 'There are many things on which NC will seek votes from people. The party intends to seek a mandate where in it would be able to take decisions on its own level. If not a full majority, but good numbers to ensure a stable government is what we look for,' he said. NC's General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said the party will reflect political as well as pro-development agenda in its poll manifesto. 'Since polls have been imposed on us, we will be devising a strategy to ensure a manifesto that would be acceptable to people. It is not possible to avoid political aspect of the Kashmir problem,' said Sagar. 'NC has been committed to demand restoration of autonomy for amicable settlement of the Kashmir issue.' He said the party would put in its best to get 'good numbers.' The NC manifesto will also mention the need for friendly ties between India and Pakistan, creating job opportunities in J&K and streamlining power infrastructure and generation.