Kashmir BJP slams Congress for ‘misleading’ people


Jammu: The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Sunday lashed out at the Congress party for trying to mislead people by protesting against the 73rd and 74th amendments of the constitution on the one hand and continuing to ally with the National Conference (NC).

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Addressing a news conference here, BJP chief spokesperson and national excecutive member Jitendra Singh said that the Congress takes credit for initiating the 73rd and 74th amendments during the tenure of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Singh alleged that while these amendments are a part of the Congress’ election manifesto, the state Congress unit has not been able to get the amendments implemented by the state government.

“If the state Congress leadership is genuinely honest about its intentions it should immediately withdraw from the coalition government, its ministers should resign and its leaders and workers should join hands with the BJP to launch a joint opposition agitation against National Conference-led government,” Singh said.

This was in reference to the protest march taken out by Youth Congress workers in Srinagar Friday in which protesters were cane-charged by police to prevent them from marching to the deputy commissioners’s office.

The protesters were demanding more powers for elected village representatives in Jammu and Kashmir by seeking extension of 73rd and 74th amendments to the state.

The amendments grant constitutional status to elected rural local bodies and provide for direct elections to all seats in the panchayats, compulsory elections to panchayats every five years, mandatory reservation of seats for Dalits and advisasis in proportion to their share of the panchayat population and mandatory reservation of one-third of seats for women.

Despite boycott calls and threats from separatists, the majority of the people participated in the state panchayat elections in 2011. But the NC-led state government has not implemented 73rd and 74th amendments. The NC says that state laws have similar provisions, so there is no need to enforce the central laws.