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Restoration of autonomy is a closed chapter: Fotedar
SRINAGAR, June 18: Senior Congress leader and Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Makhanlal Fotedar today strongly hit out at National Conference for raising autonomy issue at election times or when the party is out of power.

Talking to media persons at M.A. Road party headquarters, after having a meeting with senior party leaders, Fotedar said National Conference leaders are themselves responsible for the erosion of autonomy since they have entered into an agreement with central government in 1975 accepting the post 1953 position for power.

Ridiculing the allegation of National Conference Additional General Secretary Dr Mustafa Kamal against Congress party for eroding autonomy of the state, Fotedar said that former must ask his own party senior leadership and common people as to who actually is responsible for the erosion of autonomy.

“National Conference leaders in the past through as accord, accepting post 1953 position, I was also key player during talking between centre and National Conference leaders like Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. I was appointed by Indira Gandhi to talk to these people. The Centre government agreed that Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah can call himself as Prime Minister of the state in 1975,” he said.

Fotedar also said that but it was made clear to Sheikh Abdullah that any communication from New Delhi will address him as Chief Minister and not Prime Minister. Sheikh accepted it and agreed that in Jammu and Kashmir also he will be a chief minister and not a prime minister. These issues have been settled already and there no scope for going back into history and changing the present status,” he said.

When asked that National Conference leadership's repeated allegation that Congress party is directly responsible for eroding the autonomy, Fotedar said. “It is only Dr Mustafa Kamal who talks such things. No other will talk like such. When elections are nearer and when they are out of power, NC leaders talk about autonomy. Today they are talking of autonomy, tomorrow, they will talk Azadi, is it possible. They are demanding such this during elections and when they are out of power. This chapter is over after 1975 accord,” he said.

The Congress leader said that 1975 accord has closed all chapters of discussion on the issue and if National Conference and others are talking about its restoration , nothing will happen. “These are only mere statements. They have no scope in practical. No one would change the existing position,” he said.

The Congress Working Committee member however refused to comment on the future electoral alliance with any of the political party. He said that media persons should talk to those leaders who have information about the electoral alliance in the state. “I have no information about the pre-poll alliance with any one and I cannot commit on the issue,” he said.

Earlier, talking to party senior leaders and workers at party headquarters, the party leaders briefed him about their problems and gave him their suggestions for strengthening of the Congress party in Kashmir valley and particularly in District Srinagar.

Fotedar stressed upon the party leaders and workers that their grievances and suggestions would be communicated to party high command, particularly with Congress president Sonia Gandhi for their redressal.

News Updated at : Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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