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Empowerment of panchayats: Farooq, Omar not on same page
Shuchismita
JAMMU, Oct 2: In a deviation from his Chief Minister son’s hardened stance vis-à-vis incorporation of 73rd constitutional amendment in J&K Act thus creating bad blood between partners, the Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah today tried to bridge differences saying that “they would discuss it.”

“There’s no such thing. Whatever is good for the people, they’ll take those decisions,” he said in reply to a straight question as how 73rd Constitutional amendment was against J&K Constitution or how Article 370 was hindering its incorporation.

He was interacting with media on the sidelines of a marriage function.

Senior Abdullah also tried to dispel the notion that AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah were not on the same page on this issue stating there was no problem on that account. He warned against, what he chose to say, “jumping the gun” before hearing the discussion in the assembly.

Interestingly in the same breath he reiterated his party’s commitment to devolve power to Panchayats and in his inimitable manner did a balancing act by endorsing his son’s statement too.

“Whatever changes need to be done, have to be done in a democratic manner within our constitution. We’ve to look into all these things,” Farooq said.

On September 26, Omar had a different take on this account in his press conference on after this issue turned into a raging debate following Rahul’s emphasis on empowerment of Panchayats and security of Panchs, Sarpanchs during CWC meeting and leak of JKPCC president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz’s letter to media on September 25.

Omar had said that the State did not require 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments and would not incorporate any amendment from the Indian Constitution. “There is no need to implement 73rd and 74th amendment of Indian Constitution in the State. I’m not accepting it. State has its own constitution and we’ll make major amendments in it to empower Panchayats, if there’s consensus among all political parties,” Omar had said.

Prior to it, Rahul in CWC while describing the issues of empowerment of Sarpanchs, Panchs and their security as “serious issues which needed immediate attention.” “We should not allow the dream to go sour,” Rahul had said.

Later during his Jharkhand tour also on September 27, Rahul had expressed his dismay over the fact that some states were not delegating power to Panchayats.”

EXCERPTS FROM FAROOQ’S MEDIA INTERACTION:



RAHUL, OMAR NOT ON SAME PAGE ON PANCHAYATS’ EMPOWERMENT, INCORPORATION OF 73RD CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN J&K ACT: Replying to this question, Farooq said, “There’s no problem on that account. As far as Panchayat is concerned, anything that’s good for the people …that decision will be taken. I think there’s going to be a free discussion in the assembly. Let’s hear them. We should not jump the gun.”

“National Conference has this feeling right from the time of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, the power must go to the grass root, must go to the people and Panchayat is a right place to give it to the people. So whatever changes need to be done, have to be done in a democratic manner within our constitution. We’ve to look into all these things,” he added.

HOW 73rd CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IS AGAINST J&K CONSTITUTION OR ARTICLE 370?: Posed with a straight query as how 73rd Constitutional amendment was against J&K Constitution or how Article 370 was hindering its incorporation, his take was, “There’s no such thing. They’ll discuss it and whatever is good for the people, they’ll take those decisions.”

SECURITY TO SARPANCHS: Confronted with a query about the issue of security to Sarpanchs, the Union Minister said, “Yes, that has been discussed yesterday in the UHQ (Unified Headquarters) and I’m sure they’ll be given security.”

ON KEJRIWAL’S ANNOUNCEMENT TO FORM POLITICAL PARTY: His take on this account was, “This is a free country. Everyone has a right to form a party if they want to make a new party. They’ve to go to the people. There’re the people who will decide whom they want and whom they don’t.”

MODI’S ALLEGATION AGAINST SONIA VIS-À-VIS HER EXPENSES OF TRAVELS ABROAD: The Union Minister was critical of Modi’s remarks against AICC President Sonia Gandhi.

“This is a very bad thing without knowing the facts Mr Modi has leveled allegation, which is baseless, totally baseless. I think it is very sad that a man of his stature should come down to that level,” Farooq said.


News Updated at : Wednesday, October 3, 2012
 
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