National Conference to press for greater autonomyBy IANS
Saturday, February 19, 2011
JAMMU - At a time when political groups are calling for an early resolution of the Kashmir crisis, the ruling National Conference Saturday raised the pitch for the restoration of greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.
While the party’s central working committee after a meeting said the “party stands for autonomy”, sources within the National Congress told IANS that there was a strong sentiment among the party leaders that the issue should be taken up at every level and with much greater vigour.
The leaders felt that the party was raising the issues only in spasms while there was need for greater intensity to highlight them.
The National Congress leaders at their CWC meeting said that since autonomy was the basic demand on which the party launched its campaigns in 1996 and 2008, it should not be seen that the leadership was waking up to the issue now only as a reaction, sources told IANS.
The National Conference had successfully got the autonomy resolution passed in the state legislature in 2000, which demanded that the state be given back its pre-1953 position when Jammu and Kashmir had control over all issues barring foreign affairs, communications and defence.
But the party did not pursue the implementation of the resolution with the same vigour with which it got it passed at a special session of the legislature in June-July 2000.
The leaders’ call comes in the wake of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party stepping up its campaign for self-rule in the state and calling for an early solution to the Kashmir crisis.