Chief minister Omar Abdullah by categorically rejecting the demand for implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution has tried to send a larger political message: J&K is not like all other states of the India.
It's in line with the statement he made two years ago when he had said in the assembly that J&K had only acceded not merged with India and it shouldn't be treated like other states.
"There is no need to implement 73rd and 74th Amendments of Indian Constitution in the state…state has its own constitution and will make major amendments to empower panchayats," said Omar at a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday.
He made this statement a day after Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Saifuddin Soz in a letter to him had asked him to implement these amendments.
The 73rd Amendment has provision for reservations to Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe in the panchayats. The state government has till now given reservations only at panches level but not at sarpanches and at block development council.
Even though the most of the provisions of the central Panchayati Raj Act have been incorporated in the sate Act, Omar by publicly and categorically refusing to implement these Amendments has tried to give an impression that J&K retains its distinct identity and will not accept every thing of the Indian Constitution.
"Omar is working as per a definite plan. He is deliberately doing these things to build perception for political gains that he is confronting with the Centre for solving the Kashmir issue. He is doing it to deflect public attention from governance where he has failed miserably," said Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar.
Making a statement in the Assembly on October 6, 2010, Omar had said "JK is not like Junagarh or Hyderabad. J&K acceded to India in very unique circumstances and did not merge. We are in an agreement with India which we are following."
"Omar is trying to cater to a section which wants only working relations with India by retaining its distinct political status. It's part of the political narrative of the National Conference. He first questioned accession, then says AFSPA be revoked and now says these Amendments will not accepted," said a senior Congress minister, wishing not be named.
A day after Omar rejected incorporating these Amendment, independent MLA engineer Abdul Rashid, who is supporting the collation government, in an interview to a TV channel had reportedly said that the killings of sarpanches and panches will stop once Kashmir issue is solved.
Speaking in the assembly, Omar had also said: "Kashmir issue has to be resolved. Unless that doesn't happen situation won't change." This statement of his in the local Kashmir media was noted as come back by the Omar.