National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Friday termed regional autonomy as an ideal proposition for a distinct State like Jammu and Kashmir, saying this will immensely help in assuaging urges and aspirations of the people and involving them in decision making optimally.
“Such a mechanism though in the format of Single Line Administration, introduced by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in late 70s, had worked well and given the efficacy of decentralization of powers the regional councils under the overall superintendence of the State could help reducing a sense of alienation in different segments of people”, the Provincial President said at a meeting of senior office bearers of the party at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan this morning.
He said the spirit behind the move was to garner larger involvement of the people in decision making at grass roots level and empowering them to fix priorities for developmental projects as per local needs.
Rana said devolution of powers to elected autonomous regional administrative set ups could offset the perceived sense of alienation, imbalances and discrimination among different regions and their sub-regions particularly in view of the serious attempts by divisive political elements to sow the seeds of polarization and create iron cast compartments on the basis of region and religion.
Elaborating the concept of devolution of powers, the Provincial President said road map in this regard is provided in the document formulated by top party leaders in late 90s with an avowed objective development and political empowerment of various regions and sub-regions. “The purpose is not to weaken the authority of the state but to encourage a spirit of federalism, with each region getting equal opportunities of progress and equitable development”, he said. He said the mechanism will go a long way in strengthening the bonds of unity and amity between people silencing the voices of trifurcation by chronic divisive forces. He said for unity of the state and maintaining its singular character, bold decisions are required to be taken for financial empowerment of each region under the superintendence of the State.
Speaking on the occasion, former minister and Sr State Vice President Surjeet Singh Slathia expressed grave concern over regional and religious polarization, saying the PDP-BJP coalition partners were encouraging this to divert the attention from its failures.
Former legislators and senior party functionaries Rattan Lal Gupta, Th. Kashmir Singh, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Qazi Jalal Ud-Din, Babu Rampal, Brij Mohan Sharma, Bimla Luthra, Deepender Kour, Surinder Singh Bunty also spoke on the occasion.