NC asks Centre to reconsider flood package
Srinagar: Opposition National Conference today asked the Centre to reconsider the package announced for the rehabilitation of flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir and called for a special session of state legislature to discuss the issue.
"Government of India should reconsider the package. This is wrong and it does not convey a good message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. This is a Muslim-majority state and if the BJP government deals with the situation in this way, then it gives a wrong signal. The situation here is sending a wrong signal to people...of isolation and alienation," NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told reporters here.
Sagar said the state government should immediately convene a special session of the Assembly to discuss the issue and bring out a unanimous resolution in this regard.
"We ask the government, if they have any conscience left and feel the pain of the people, to immediately convene a special session of the Assembly to have a thorough debate over the package and sent a unanimous resolution of the state legislature to the Centre highlighting the demand, the necessity and the requirement of people," he said.
"This is absolutely necessary as this is a big issue. All the parties in the Assembly should rise above party politics sincerely," he added.
The NC leader expressed "surprise" over the remarks of state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu who said he was satisfied with the package.
"We are surprised. He is saying he is satisfied. But the other PDP leader (Tariq Karra) has advised the party to part ways with the BJP. The finance minister has humiliated the people of the state. What is there in the package for the people affected by the floods?" he said.
He said Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had said that he would make people of the state happy before the holy month of Ramadan. "Has he been able to do that? Are people happy now? No," Sagar said.
The NC general secretary said his party was in touch with various trade organisations to formulate a joint strategy to pressurise the Centre for a comprehensive rehabilitation package.
"The people, businessmen, tourism players and trade bodies were waiting for the package. Rather than healing the wounds, this package has rubbed salt on them. We are in touch with them," Sagar said.
He said NC wanted the Assembly elections last year to be delayed so that the victims of the tragedy were rehabilitated first, "But PDP was in a hurry as they saw their own benefit in that".
"We wanted to delay the elections as we wanted to give relief to the people. But some parties were in hurry for the elections. Yes, they got some benefit. NC lost five seats in Srinagar because of the flood. People showed resentment because of the destruction caused by the floods. PDP got the benefit but what are they doing for the people now?" he said.
Speaking on the occasion, NC Provincial President Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani said the state government had failed to pursue the package submitted by the NC-led coalition.
"The package of Rs 44,000 crore was submitted after consultations with all the stakeholders. We had kept in mind the parameters of the Uttarakhand package. We had then kept then escalation of costs from 2012 and the pattern of constructions here in mind as well to formulate the proposal.
"The state government failed to pursue it. The state finance minister himself could not pursue it, what blame can be put on the central government," he said.