Srinagar | Dec, 18: National Conference (NC) leaders will attend the Delimitation Commission’s associate members meeting in New Delhi next week, party MP Hasnain Masoodi said on Saturday. He, however, said, there was no shift in the party’s stand that the exercise “offends” the spirit of the Constitution.
“Seeing the overall scenario, the party has decided that its MPs will attend the meeting,” Masoodi, the MP from south Kashmir’s Anantnag, said. He said since the commissions cannot travel to the length and breadth of the Union Territory, they cannot hear what people have to say. “So, we will take the people’s viewpoint to the commission,” he said, adding all three MPs from the party — NC president Farooq Abdullah, Akbar Lone and himself — will arrive in Delhi. The NC MP said the party had written to the commission seeking seek its agenda, but there was no response. “We want to know what their agenda is. We had asked them to submit the agenda of the meeting as well as the relevant supporting material. But, they did not. So, we have to go there to see what their agenda is…,” he said.
Stressing that the party had not changed its stand on the matter, he said, “…This is not something new. The party (had earlier) met the commission on its Srinagar visit, submitted memorandum saying it is not a permissible route in the Constitution. We stand by that. There is no shift in our stand that this exercise offends the spirit of the Constitution” he said. He said the “right thing” for the government would have been to restore the August 4, 2019, position –- a day before the Centre revoked the erstwhile state’s special status — and then proceed with the delimitation. The NC had boycotted the first associate meeting of the commission in February saying the exercise was an outcome of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act-2019, which the party had challenged in the Supreme Court. It said participation in the proceedings of the commission was “tantamount” to accepting the August 5, 2019, changes.
Meanwhile, Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone hit out at the NC for “multiple speak”. “Please at least have the courtesy to show even some pretence and explain how it was tantamount to endorsement then and not now. Digital world. Digital proof. Chit bhi meri patt be meri won’t work. Era of Multiple speeches in Srinagar and Delhi— in multiple places is over (sic),” Lone wrote on Twitter. The remarks of Lone, who was earlier in the separatist camp before switching over to the mainstream in 2009 and grew close to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run up to the 2014 elections, came after his party put out tweets criticising the NC.
“These are the utterances of Dr. Farooq Abdullah. What changed between then and now for the NC to now participate. Is it not tantamount to endorsing August 5 decisions now. There is a limit on monopoly on morality,” the Peoples Conference tweeted referring to Abdullah’s remarks that the party will attend the meeting.