NC releases manifesto, AFSPA, Article 370 in it

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Dec 01, 2014 23:47 IST

The National Conference on Wednesday released its election manifesto, reiterating the party's traditional stand on issues like Article 370, revocation of AFSPA and autonomy.

Calling Article 370, which grants special status to the state within the Union of India, as the "foundation" of the state's relationship with the rest of the country, the NC has said it will oppose any attempts to tamper with it.

The NC manifesto says that the party will press for a reversal of the "erosion of the letter and spirit" of the article. "Restoration of autonomy is the only viable solution to the Kashmir problem," the manifesto further reads.

The manifesto states that the NC favours resumption of talks between India and Pakistan and says that "dialogue on all contentious issues alone will lead to lasting resolution of tension between the two countries". It will ensure peace and prosperity of South Asian region, it states.

The manifesto also stressed on revocation of the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act), which guarantees immunity from prosecution to army men operating in the conflict-ridden state. To repeal the AFSPA was a promise the party had made to seek votes during the 2008 assembly election.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah, who is the NC's working president, has time and again said that his efforts to get the dreaded law revoked did not get a green signal from New Delhi. He told Hindustan Times that it was his "biggest regret".

The party manifesto, however, says the NC will continue to make sustained efforts to get the law revoked from the state by the Centre.

The NC manifesto also throws light on developmental activities carried out in the state "despite conflicting perceptions on policy matters with the coalition partner". It says the NC delivered on major promises it had made by providing jobs, starting indigenous power projects and setting up industrial and entrepreneurship units as its achievements.

The manifesto claims that despite the whole administrative machinery getting submerged and all connectivity collapsing due to the recent floods, chief minister Abdullah "led from the front" to coordinate the rescue and relief efforts.

The party promises to take up the task of rehabilitation "with a vision for future".

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