The main opposition party National Conference (NC) on Thursday asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to convene a special assembly to discuss and express their joint displeasure over the package announced by the Centre for the flood victims of the state.
“The Centre’s package has humiliated the people of Kashmir. If the state government has any dignity left, it should convene a special assembly session soon. The matter needs a thorough discussion,” said NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar.
“Let assembly make a joint resolution expressing displeasure over the package. We hope it will not be treated as autonomy resolution by New Delhi. We reiterate our appeal to the Centre that it should reconsider the package announced for relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims,” Sagar added.
The Centre’s additional package of Rs 1,667 crore has drawn flak in the Valley. Around Rs 5,000 crore under separate heads stand released for Jammu and Kashmir floods so far.
However, Valley-based traders and civil society groups have described the package as “an insult to those who lost livelihood and shelter due to the floods”, which had hit parts of the Kashmir Valley in September last.
As many as 280 people were killed and six lakh affected by the devastating floods.
“Shockingly, the package includes rice distribution, government liability and works done by beacon and air force. It has meager amount for trading community, reconstruction of houses and restoring tourism sector,” said the NC general secretary, adding, “Is this what the chief minister was promising all this while?”
The NC also criticised finance minister Haseeb Drabu for expressing satisfaction over the package. “We cannot criticise New Delhi only when the state finance minister failed to pursue the package pleaded by the NC government, which was around Rs 44,500 crore. The state finance minister had rejected the package that was formulated properly and was not off the cuff,” claimed NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani.
Wani said the previous government reached to the Rs 44,500 relief package, also approved by the cabinet, on the lines of Uttarakhand package. “In Uttarakhand, the completely damaged houses were provided Rs 6-7 lakh and we had demanded Rs 9 lakh. The package is bound to send a wrong message of discrimination and fuel further alienation. In case of Uttarakhad, the relief amount was released immediately for reconstruction of houses,” said Wani.
The NC also asked Mufti Muhammad Sayeed-led PDP government to form an all-party delegation. “It will go to Delhi and seek proper funds,” said Sagar.
The NC general secretary also expressed surprise over some PDP leaders welcoming the package, while some others criticizing it. “The call by PDP leaders to withdraw support is nothing but a drama,” said Sagar.