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Give me power, will give you autonomy in 30 days: Farooq

Jammu, Dec 20:National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Thursday declared that if voted to power in the ensuing assembly elections, regional autonomy will be granted in Jammu and Kashmir within 30 days of his party forming the government.

“The roadmap in this regard has been drawn between 1996 and 2002 and the larger objective of regional autonomy will be politico-economic empowerment of all the regions of the State”, Farooq said while welcoming former BJP MLA Gagan Bhagat into National Conference at a function held at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan in Jammu Thursday afternoon.

“If am blessed with good health by Allah and we’re voted to power with absolute majority, I promise that I will make this happen (regional autonomy) within 30 days after assuming power,” he said.

Gagan represented the BJP from R S Pura segment in the recently dissolved Legislative Assembly.

The National Conference chief said Jammu and Kashmir is a unique state that needs special dispensation in terms of autonomy to different regions to satiate urges and aspiration of the people.

He said a major ground work has been done in this regard with avowed objective of empowering the people at grass roots level and enabling them to take decisions as per their regional priorities.

He said such a mechanism under overall superintendence of the State government will further strengthen the regional unity, which is imperative for singular entity of Jammu and Kashmir.

Appreciating joining of Gagan Bhagat into National Conference, Farooq exuded confidence that the people, especially those in political arena, will work towards maintaining the singular entity of Jammu and Kashmir which is under severe threat from polarizing agents.

He said peace and amity has to be strengthened at every level and this can be ensured only by strong National Conference, which he described as a mass movement.

Farooq exhorted the cadre to get ready for meeting challenges faced to the State by isolating elements inimical to peace and unity.

Expressing his gratitude to the National Conference leadership, Gagan Bhagat said he will work in the party for further strengthening bonds of brotherhood and amity between various segments of society.

He said he will humbly contribute in reaching out to the people, especially the marginalized sections, and work for their welfare and economic emancipation.

Welcoming Bhagat into the party fold, Provincial President Devender Singh Rana described it as a reflection of deep urge among public spirited political activists to ensure a strong and stable government in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the people are realizing crucial importance of clear mandate to a single party for giving the state a responsive and transparent dispensation.

“Leaders from different political parties are in touch with National Conference for joining,” Rana said, adding a realization is dawning fast about futility of the fractured mandate which has done much harm than any good to the state.