New Delhi: The leaders of the National Conference and the Congress feel threatened due to the new domicile rules in Jammu and Kashmir as they had for long thrived on their “captive vote-bank”, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
He alleged that the people of Jammu and Kashmir suffered because of such politicians who have, over the last several decades, “hoodwinked their own people in order to promote their dynastic rule from generation to generation.”
“Their actual worry is that because the new domicile law offers free voting rights, like in other parts of the country, they will not be able to pass the test of ballot when vote is cast by those sections of people whom they had illegally denied the voting rights for all these years,” said Singh, the Minister of State in the Personnel Ministry.
“The hands of clock have moved on and never again will Jammu and Kashmir be a fiefdom of a handful few or a few families,” an official statement quoted him as saying.
Singh said the Congress, the National Conference and some other political parties are rattled by the new domicile law of Jammu and Kashmir.
“And when their leaders say that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are threatened by this law, the matter of fact is that they are themselves feeling threatened, because they had all along thrived and held on to power with the support of a captive vote-bank and lacked the democratic courage to face free and open franchise,” he said.
People belonging to West Pakistan, Balmikis, and non-registered Kashmiri migrants among others are now eligible to get domicile certificates under a new set of rules issued by the Jammu and Kashmir administration last month.
Singh said those people who describe the new domicile rules as illegal should first explain to the people of Jammu and Kashmir the legality by which they had denied voting rights for 73 years to West Pakistan refugees, Balmikis, Gurkhas and other sections of society settled in the erstwhile state since independence.
He asked them to make this an election issue in the forthcoming assembly elections and go to the people saying that if voted to power they will restore Article 370, reverse the new domicile law and once again take away the West Pakistan refugees, Balmikis and Gurkhas of their voting rights which have now been provided.
Singh also challenged these leaders to go to the court and get the parliamentary decision reversed.