โ€œNC committed to 30 p c reservation for women in Assemblyโ€

Dr Farooq pitches for absolute majority to NC for meeting challenges to J&K
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JAMMU: National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday sought a massive mandate for the party in the ensuing elections, saying a strong and stable government alone can steer Jammu and Kashmir to peace, progress and development, a statement issued here said.
โ€œA government with absolute majority is answer to all the challenges confronting to the Stateโ€, Dr Farooq Abdullah said while welcoming dozens of BJP and Congress workers in the National Conference fold at a function held at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.
Dr Abdullah also referred to the role of women in development and said their political empowerment is necessary by ensuring reservation of seats in democratic institutions. He said on being given absolute majority, NC will emulate some other states and have 33 per cent reservations in assembly for women. In this context, he said that he was only yesterday told by Odisha Chief Minister Mr Naveen Patnaik about such a reservation being given to women in his state. He said National Conference has worked towards women empowerment and referred to the allocation of 50 per cent seats for them in the medical colleges. He said his party is striving for empowering youth and satiating the urges and aspirations of all the regions.
He referred to the landslide victory of National Conference in 1996 and said this brought about a discernible transformation in the infrastructural development and turnaround in the situation. He said a massive effort was launched to build the damaged schools, put health services and other utility services back on track. In 2000, he said his government provided a record 1.50 lakh jobs to educated unemployed and initiated various welfare programmes. โ€œThis all happened because of the strong and stable governmentโ€, he added.
Dr Farooq Abdullah hoped that the people will contribute in bringing back normalcy by maintaining unity and strengthening the bonds of communal harmony. He cautioned against elements inimical to the single entity of Jammu and Kashmir and said all their machinations to create mistrust and hatred has to be foiled unitedly. He assailed those day-dreaming about trifurcation of the state and said a united Jammu and Kashmir is crown of the country which has to flourish as a single entity with dignity and honour.
He decried exploitation of religious sentiments for political and electoral gains, and said the nation cannot afford to get fragmented into bits and pieces on the basis of religion. He said elections were not to be fought on religion, as these provide an opportunity to put in place responsive governments which serve the people in terms of development and economic emancipation. He advised reactionary forces to refrain from exploiting public sentiments, especially during elections, adding that the growing trend of dividing the people should be eschewed at all costs. He lamented the attempts of provoking people to fight over Mandir and Masjid issues for furthering political objectives and said India does not belong to a specific religion but it is a beautiful vase of flowers of different colours. The people of all the faiths have equal rights in secular India, he added.
โ€œIn the prevailing vicious atmosphere, National Conference has a challenging role to keep the flag of secularism highโ€, Dr Abdullah said.
Dr Farooq Abdullah also stressed the need for generating conducive atmosphere for talks and said India and Pakistan should work towards this objective. He recalled the famous statement of former Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee about โ€˜friends can be changed but the neighboursโ€™ and hoped that spirit will help both the nations to work for peace.
He lauded the enthusiasm among the workers and hoped this will steer National Conference to massive success.
T. S Wazir, senior National Conference leader also addressed the workers and said that growing urge among political workers to join the party is reflection of their belief that it alone can steer the State to progress and development. He introduced the prominent workers, mostly from weaker sections of the society, belonging to Bragala, Chatta Pind, Camp Ward No 1, Jawahar Nagar and Bahu Fort areas in the vicinity of Jammu.
Present on the occasion included General Secretary Haji Ali Mohammed Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, former legislators and senior leaders of various wings of National Conference. Also present on the occasion were Mr Rattan Lal Gupta State Secretary, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed Provincial Secretary, Th. Kashmir Singh Ex-MLC, Mr Brij Mohan Sharma Ex-MLC, Mr Ajaz Jan Provincial President YNC, Ch. Haroon, Mr Jugal Mahajan, Mrs Bimla Luthra Ex-MLA, Mrs Deepender Kour Ex-MLC, Mr Bashir Ahmed Wani, Mr Pardeep Bali, Mr Rajesh Bakshi, S. Parvinder Singh, Mrs Dilshad Malik, Mrs Reeta Gupta, Mr Som Raj Taroch and others.
Those who joined National Conference included Mr Bal Krishan, Mr Ashraf Ali, Mr Ashok Kumar, Mohd Sadeeq, Mr Madan Lal, Mr Tarsheem Lal, Mr Rattan Lal, Mr Balbir Kumar, Mr Patimber Singh, Mr Harbans Singh, Mr Kamal Kumar, Mr Hans Raj, Mr Soni, Ch. Surinder and others.
The others who also joined the party included Mr Sunil Gupta Ex Deputy Commandant BSF, Mr Sudesh Kumar Retd. Sub Inspector, Mr Ashok Kumar Ex Head Constable, Mr Baldev Singh Ex-BSF jawan, Mr Vishal Gupta, Ms Nirmal, Mrs Madhu, Mrs Monika, Ms Sakina Khatana, Mrs Doli Gupta, Mr Ashutosh Wali J&K State General Secy Brahmin Org. of India, Mr Rakesh Kumar Social Activisit ( Former Secy Seva Dal Congress)

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