Kashmir bill on district jobs may be deferred


Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government may defer the introduction of a bill banning inter-district recruitment in the state legislative assembly as a cabinet meeting to sort out the issue between the National Conference and the Congress was not held Monday evening.

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The bill bars applicants from seeking jobs in districts other than their own.

The meeting was to “draw up a mutually acceptable path” on the issue, as Congress, a major partner in the ruling coalition, had voiced its unhappiness over National Conference Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar’s announcement to table the legislation in the assembly Monday.

“The meeting has been deferred,” a minister told IANS on the condition of anonymity, but did not disclose the reasons nor the next scheduled date.

“It may be held sometime later this week, and nothing has been decided on the bill,” the minister said.

“Congress has conveyed its displeasure to the chief minister (Omar Abdullah) over the announcement of the bill in such a manner. We should have been consulted. We have made our concerns known to the chief minister,” a senior Congress minister had told IANS earlier.

“The Congress is opposed to the bill because it would snatch eight percent reservation in jobs from the Scheduled Castes community in the state. The community has been backing the Congress in the polls and with municipal polls due in May, the party cannot afford to lose its votes,” a party official told IANS, adding that the bill would be introduced in the assembly only after an agreement with the Congress.

There is no Scheduled Caste population in the valley and the legislators have shown resentment over the reservation of eight percent for the SC candidates. The Kashmir Valley is dominated by Muslims, with less than 2,000 Kashmiri Hindus.