The Centre-appointed Interlocutors’ ‘recommendations’ suggesting restoration of posts of the Prime Minister and the President in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday created ruckus in State Legislative Assembly with entire Opposition except Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urging the Centre to recall Interlocutors.
The ruling National Conference (NC) however, supported the recommendations, saying it would be helpful for restoring normalcy in the state. The legislators of Congress, one of the coalition partners in the government, preferred to maintain silence on the issue but the Opposition members walked out from the House.
On Wednesday, the Interlocutors had reportedly recommended to the Centre for restoration of restoration of posts of ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Prime Minister) and ‘Sadar-e-Riyasat’ (President), as being sought by the National Conference to allow ‘greater autonomy’ to the state, had also witnessed noisy scenes in the Parliament.
Due to Special Status under the Indian constitution, prior to 1965, the state selected its own ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Prime Minister) and ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’ (President). However, in 1965, the state constitution was amended, and the offices of Prime Minister and President were renamed Chief Minister and Governor respectively.
The trouble erupted during the Zero Hour when the leader of Panthers Legislature Party Harshdev Singh drew the attention of Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone towards media reports about the Interlocutors’ suggestions and said their recommendations are not only “violative of the constitution” but are “highly outrageous”.
“The Interlocutors have clearly exceeded their brief and violated the provision of Constitution of India. This is beyond scope of terms of reference. We believe the recommendations made by them to change the nomenclature of the Chief Minister and the Governor is not only unconstitutional but they have tried to reserve the clock (pre-1953 status),” Singh said.
He added the Interlocutors have tried to give an impression outside the world that Jammu and Kashmir is “separate sovereign state” which “is not the case”
Leader of BJP Legislature Party Chaman Lal Gupta warned nobody would be allow for “reversing the clock”. He said any such move would not be tolerated and it would be fought “tooth and nail”.
While the BJP, JKNPP and JSM protested the recommendations terming it as 'anti-India' and accused the interlocutors of crossing their mandate, the NC legislator Shameema Firdous and Independent MLA Abdul Rashid remarked, “Let us see which way the clock goes after the submission of the report.”
This sparked another wave of protest by the Opposition which created ruckus in the House and later staged a walkout in protest.