Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday once again parroted his stand over the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) saying "there will be no letup in his struggle to gradually see-off the laws like AFSPA as they have served their purpose".
"My endeavours will go on unabated in this direction. Such laws have to go to make people relish the fruits of peace," said Abdullah in south Kashmir's Kokernag area on the occasion of 106th birth anniversary of ruling National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
On October 21, Abdullah had announced revocation of the controversial AFSPA from parts of the state soon. The army had opposed the proposed revocation.
The act empowers security forces to shoot at sight or arrest people without a warrant in areas declared disturbed. The law shields security forces from prosecution (unless the union government gives sanction).
Playing down differences between the ruling NC and the coalition partner Congress, the chief minister said the NC-Congress cordial relations will continue to grow further. "Both parties are working jointly for achieving the goal of peaceful and progressive Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Abdullah said the cordial relations between the NC and the Congress existed right from the times of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru.
"The coalition would further strengthen for the larger interests of the state," said Abdullah.
The chief minister accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of doublespeak saying "the party talks in three different tones about the AFSPA at three different places of Srinagar, Jammu and Delhi".
"While the party talks in favour of revocation of this Act in Srinagar, its leadership keeps mum about it in Jammu and at Delhi. They make the revocation of AFSPA sub-servant to the desire of the Army," he said.
He challenged the PDP to speak in same tone about the AFSPA in Srinagar as it speaks at New Delhi. "People are wise enough to understand the designs behind the PDP's double speak."
Touching the development issues facing the state, the chief minister said: "Unless we are self-sufficient in the generation of electricity, we cannot make necessary dent in the industrial development and promotion of other economically important sectors."
The government, he said, has to bear over Rs 2000 crore as losses on the supply of electricity to the consumers every year. "This grim scenario largely affects the development and puts hurdles in the process of generating employment for youth," he said.
The chief minister inaugurated five development projects on the occasion of his grandfather's birth anniversary.