NEW DELHI: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that Congress, National Conference (NC) and some other political parties are rattled by the new Domicile law of Jammu & Kashmir and when their leaders say that the people of Jammu & Kashmir are, according to them, threatened by this law, the matter of fact is that they are themselves feeling threatened, because they had all along thrived and held on to power with the support of a captive vote – bank and lacked the democratic courage to face free and open franchise.
Hitting back at Farooq Abdulah without naming him, Dr Jitendra Singh said, at least a sitting Member of Parliament should observe the propriety of first resigning from his membership of Parliament before describing as illegal a law which has been duly passed by the Parliament.
He said, if a sitting Member of Parliament does not have faith in the constitutional validity and sanctity of the Parliament, then he should first show the moral courage to resign from his membership of Parliament and give up the perks and privileges enjoyed thereof.
Dr Jitendra Singh asked those who describe the new Domicile Law as illegal to first explain to the people of Jammu & Kashmir the legality by which they had denied voting rights for 73 years to West Pakistan Refugees, Balmikis, Gurkhas and other sections of society settled here since independence.
If the Congress and National Conference (NC) leaders genuinely believe what they are saying, Dr Jitendra Singh challenged them to make this an election issue in the forthcoming Assembly election and go to the people saying that if voted to power they will restore Article 370, reverse the new Domicile Law and once again strip away the Pakistan Refugees, Balmikis and Gurkhas of their voting rights which have now been provided. He also challenged these leaders to go to the court and get the parliamentary decision reversed.
Coming down hard on the duplicity which had become a habit in the realms of Kashmir politics, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the people of Jammu & Kashmir suffered because of such politicians who have, over the last several decades, hoodwinked their own people in order to promote their dynastic rule from generation to generation.
Their actual worry is that because the new Domicile law offers free voting rights, like in other parts of the country, they will not be able to pass the test of ballot when vote is cast by those sections of people whom they had illegally denied the voting rights for all these years.
The hands of clock have moved on, cautioned Dr Jitendra Singh and said, never again Jammu& Kashmir will be a fiefdom of handful few or a few families.