National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar on Friday exhorted cadre to gear up for meeting the challenges of fast changing political scenario in Jammu and Kashmir while Provincial President Devender Singh Rana described PDP-BJP Government’s SOS over seeking Anantnag bye-elections postponed as a major sign of panic and frustration due to disenchantment of people.“Like Bihar, the women of Jammu and Kashmir can become catalyst of change as they constitute over half of the electorate,” Sagar said while addressing a day-long Women Convention of National Conference, organized at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhjavan here by Bimla Luthra, former MLA.
Sagar exuded confidence that National Conference will stage a magnificent comeback, as the opportunistic coalition partners were getting into marshy turf due to their inherent contradictions and vision-less policies. He envisioned enormous role for women in changing the political landscape.The General Secretary enumerated initiatives taken by National Conference decades ago about women empowerment, representation to them in Panchayats and 50 per cent seats in the medical colleges.He said the party has a track record of communal amity and equal opportunities of progress to all segments of society. He said the role of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and Madr-e-Mehrban Begum Abdullah has been inspiring in women empowerment.
Speaking on the occasion, the Provincial President Devender Singh Rana termed the decision of Jammu and Kashmir Government in getting election to Anantnag Assembly Constituency, necessitated due to demise of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, postponed as public acknowledgment of defeat. “The decision is totally political, as the PDP-BJP are seeing writing on the wall and humiliating defeat on the anvil, in view of public resentment”, he said, adding that the present dispensation has no moral right to govern after finding themselves distanced from the people.
Rana said that such a scenario has first time emerged in electoral history of the state when a party claiming mandate of the people is shying away in facing them in elections due to its betrayal. “ By invoking security situation as reason for delaying the election, the government has not only exposed its fragility but also put a big question mark on its own credibility”, he said adding that the situation in South Kashmir is in no way hostile to holding the elections. He said National Conference had welcomed the move of Election Commission to hold the polls in this important constituency next month, as it was confident to win with massive public support.Referring to the day-long women convention, the Provincial President lauded the role of former legislator Bimla Luthra, saying she has been galvanizing the women cadre in carrying forward progressive policies of National Conference.
He said women have to play their useful role in eradicating illiteracy and combating social evils.In his presidential address, Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustaffa Kamal referred to path breaking initiatives of National Conference in promoting female literacy and carving out a huge role for them in decision making.Making a mention of nation-wide Beti Padao Beti Bachaw campaign, Dr Kamal said that National Conference under the towering leadership of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah had pioneered this concept over six decades. He recalled how women were encouraged to pursue academics and make their presence felt in various careers. He said a sustained campaign had been launched and various programmes initiated for empowerment of women and making them economically self-reliant by launching their own income generating units.
Dr Kamal expressed the hope that women will take a lead role in steering society to pinnacles of progress and bringing about harmony between different segments. He said women empowerment is imperative for a just society.The Additional General Secretary complimented Luthra for her path-breaking initiative of organizing women and encouraging their participation in activities aimed at their political empowerment.Former minister Sakina Itoo also spoke on the occasion and exhorted women to come forward and participate in democratic process in a big way. She said women have excelled in various fields, especially education and have laid an imprint as good academicians, doctors, engineers etc. “Alongside men they are playing their useful role in healthy growth of the society”, he added.Itoo referred to initiatives taken by successive National Conference governments in ensuring overall progress and welfare of women.Speaking amidst huge applause, Bimla Luthra exuded confidence that women workers and office bearers of National Conference will meet the challenges confronted to the party and steer it to big win in upcoming civic elections.
“Women have proved that they were second to none, provided given opportunities”, she said while lauding party leadership for encouraging women and helping them to play their useful role in politics.Luthra also castigated PDP-BJP government for failing on all fronts, saying women were facing the main brunt. She referred to the implementation of ill-conceived National Food Security Act and said this has deprived large chunk of population of much needed ration support.Provincial President National Conference Women Wing, Satwant Kour Dogra urged the workers to get ready for big challenges in view of uncertain political scenario.
She said women will come forward in a big way in any upcoming democratic exercise.State Vice Presidents Rattan Lal Gupta and Th Kashmira Singh also spoke on the occasion and compliments Mrs Luithra for providing a big platform to women workers to express their urges and aspirations before the party high command.Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Youth National Conference President Ajaz Jan lauded young party workers for their enthusiasm in taking forward the mission of Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah to make Jammu and Kashmir better place to live in.Prominent among those present on the occasion included senior party functionaries of various wings, former legislators and senior leaders. (KNS)