Describing PDP-BJP government as a non-starter, Provincial President National Conference Devender Singh Rana Tuesday said that except for vigorously pursuing anti-youth, anti people and anti-employee policies, the governance has been a distant dream during the past nearly 90 days. “Where is the government?”, Rana retorted back to a newsman when asked about performance of the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir during a press conference held at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here after former BSP MLA Prem Sagar joined the National Conference.Not only in the urban areas, the impact of the government is zero in rural pockets with infrastructural development and utility services remaining in shambles, he said. “Go beyond city peripheries, the woes of people will be reflective of the presence of government”, he said adding that the condition in the cities remains worse.
He said the PDP and BJP were accusing NC-Congress government of performance inertia but the fact remains that it has itself miserably failed on all fronts. He regretted over the flood sufferers having been left in lurch by not paying them any compensation. He said the farmers too have been neglected whose farm produce got totally damaged. Besides, the condition of hand pumps and water pipes laid in rural areas remain unattended, he added.To the allegations leveled by a ruling coalition minister about wide spread corruption in education department during previous regime, the Provincial President said that NC believes in severe punishment to offenders and those indulge in corrupt practices. “The minister is in government; let they make enquiries and punish those found guilty”, he added.On setting up of AIIMS in Jammu and the Bandh Call given by the Bar Association Jammu led Coordination Committee for tomorrow, Mr Rana said the stand of National Conference is clear on this issue. “While we hail the decision of the government in establishing AIIMS in Kashmir, we demand similar facility for Jammu and Ladakh”, he said while emphasizing that the need for such a facility which remains destination of a large segment of people from Jammu and Ladakh during winter months. He termed the CC sponsored bandh as non-political affair.
The Provincial President also took a dig at the ruling coalition over BJP’s demand on abrogation of Article 370 and said the PDP needs to clear its stand on this sensitive issue. He said this constitutional guarantee stands like a bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi, which can’t be abrogated. “Being a proud part of Indian nation, Jammu and Kashmir craves for strengthening the special provision of Article 370”, he said adding that PDP and BJP have exploited to hilt the public sentiment over this issue To a question on levying of road tax on toll plazas, Mr Rana said he has taken up the issue with the State Government. “Minister for Works Altaf Bukhari informed me last evening that a proposal with regard to rationalization of toll has been forwarded to National Highway 1A”, he said and hoped that a people friendly decision will be forthcoming. He described the toll as harsh on travelling public, especially when the highway was still under the process of upgradation and construction.
Rana answered a volley of questions on development, governance apart from overall political situation in the state. When asked about the recent comment of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar about ‘terrorists to be neutralized by terrorists’, Rana remarked that on the national security issues, less said the better. He, however, asked the PDP to clarify on the Defence Minister’s statement as it was in conflict with its much hyped slogan of “Goli se Nahi, Boli Se”. He said Parrikar is vouching bullet for bullet, which is against the spirit of democracy.The Provincial President said National Conference believes in service of people and not power as its destination. “NC decided to sit in opposition in 2002 despite being the largest party with 28 MLAs and open support of 15 others for government formation”, he said and referred to the stand taken by Dr Farooq Abdullah then that National Conference cannot go against the mandate of the people.Rana welcomed Prem Sagar in National Conference fold and said his joining will further strengthen the party in Kathua district, which he described as strong NC bastion. (CNS)