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Politics Over Leh And Pir Panjal

Politics Over Leh And Pir Panjal


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Asem Mohiuddin                               Pir Pir Pir Pir Pir

 The Legitimate Desk: Only after fortnight that Governor Satya Pal Malik accorded controversial decision of converting Jammu and Kashmir Bank as PSU, there seem more controversies in offing in the state as governor is all set to take some more decisions which mainstream parties consider against ‘their’ interests.

Some unconfirmed news are rounding across the state that very soon Malik will accord a division status to the hilly and cold desert Leh to meet their long pending demand.

The former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has already warned of the peaceful agitation like 2008 after demanding same status for Pir Panchal and Chenab valley.

“We are not against any such decision unless the same status is granted for the Pir Panjal and Chenab valley. The Leh had already got the Autonomous Hill Development council status while both the region in Jammu have not such,” she said after conveying the press conference over the issue.

She even claimed the support of some other MLA’s like Er Rasheed and CPIM leader MY Tarigami.

“We will launch a peaceful agitation against any such move that ignores the twin valleys of Jammu region. They don’t even have road connectivity and other facilities. They are also located topographically at a typical location which needs to be addressed,” she warned.

Meanwhile this is not the only decision that made regional parties aghast. The Governor is also mulling to bring certain amendments in the Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) laws and the juvenile laws. Local parties’ accuse governor of contemplating to weaken the special position of state in case any such amendments are made.

“We respect the governor but it seems he has been here to serve someone’s agenda. There is no rush to make such decisions and shall be left for the elected government,” Mehbooba accused Malik.

In the meanwhile, there is no reaction from another larger regional political party National Conference over such decision although they also criticized the decision of governor by converting JK Bank into PSU.

 In fact according to reports the Kargil unit of NC has even sought the divisional status to do away with what they call regional discrimination in developmental projects.

“We don’t want disintegration of the state. We want the entire state to remain united but all three regions should get an equal share. Kargil has never raised the demand for the UT status. It has come only from Leh because the people of the region have not got their due share.

If the government provides equal share to Ladakh by giving a separate divisional status to it, it will subside the demand.” Feroz Ahmad Khan, Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) of the Kargil Council, told a newspaper.

In the Leh region the NC has emerged as victorious  this year in council elections defeating PDP and BJP though Congress also secured 8 seats while PDP had bagged just 2. The BJP for the first time also opened its account after winning one seat of Zanskar.

While the recent win for the NC and Congress prompts them to keep mum and may face no agitation as both may try to retain its vote bank for the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, PDP is mulling to exploit the two regions of Jammu with Muslim majority population.

The PDP is already doing well in the Chenab valley as this is the only party that strike to Muslim vote bank across the state as pro Muslim face. In Kashmir valley and general and Muslim pockets particular the sentiment of freedom and Pakistan is higher and PDP encashes it while raising the pitch for Indo- Pak dialogue and opening of roads with the country.

“On the governance front PDP along with BJP had failed to deliver in last three years before the government collapsed in June 2018. However, such attempts of the Governor are offering PDP a fodder for the upcoming elections,” comments a local political commentator.

The PDP with less on stake in the Jammu and Leh region would more focus on the Chenab valley and may use this point to secure the political mileage against BJP and other political parties.

However, on the other issues, Malik is on a war path with NC also as the Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister and Party Vice president have already spoken against any fiddling with PRC laws.

He had shot a letter to Malik last week and asked him to not make any amendments with PRC laws as it happens be the job of popular government.

The governor, however, replied and assured Omar Abdullah that no such plan is in offing and termed reports frivolous. Though the NC expressed its satisfaction over the reply of Governor, however, his administration is often accused of serving the BJP agenda.

 Before such controversies could settle down, Malik issued an order of appointing BJP leader Hina Bhata as Khadi Board chairperson evoking sharp criticism from all the political parties.

All the political appointees after the collapse of government this year had resigned formally and this could be the first political appointment by the governor and can potentially damage his reputation.

National Conference provincial president Devender Rana termed it as “height of impropriety’’ and “most unethical’’ while the PDP strongly objected it.

“This is a wrong decision. We strongly object to it. The state is under Governor’s rule and he is not supposed to go by the advice of any political party. This decision is unethical,” PDP’s chief spokesperson Rafi Mir said.

As the state has become the hub of happenings with Malik continue to enjoy the full media coverage for his decisions and statements, it is yet to be seen how things may unfold in coming times under his rule.


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