Of 5 Kashmir MPs, only one attends oath-taking ceremony of J-K’s first lieutenant governor GC Murmu
Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Rajya Sabha member Nazir Ahmad Laway attended the oath-taking ceremony, two National Conference (NC) MPs and another Rajya Sabha member from the PDP stayed away.Updated: Jul 16, 2020, 22:27 IST
Of the five members of Parliament (MPs) from Kashmir, only one attended the oath-taking ceremony of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir’s new lieutenant governor GC Murmu on Thursday.
Murmu took oath after J-K officially lost its statehood and was spilt into two UTs- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh at midnight on Wednesday. He was sworn in by chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal in a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.
Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Rajya Sabha member Nazir Ahmad Laway attended the oath-taking ceremony, two National Conference (NC) MPs and another Rajya Sabha member from the PDP stayed away.
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“I received an invitation and attended the function. It was a brief function in which new Lt Governor took the oath of office,’’ he said.
“I saw the BJP MP from Jammu Jugal Kishore there, not any other MP,” the senior PDP leader said.
The NC’s Farooq Abdullah, who represents Srinagar in the Lok Sabha, was arrested under the Public Safety Act and has been detained at his Gupkar residence.
After the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, most of the mainstream politicians are either under house arrest or detained at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on the banks of the Dal Lake which has been designated as the sub-jail.
Besides Farooq Abdullah, two other former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are also under detention. Omar Abdullah has been detained at Hari Niwas and Mehbooba Mufti at an official hut in Chashma Shahi, a Mughal-era garden.
The places where the prominent leaders of the mainstream political parties have been detained are located in the vicinity of Raj Bhawan where the new L-G was administered the oath of office.
Fayaz Mir, the PDP’s Rajya Sabha member, said somebody had dropped an invitation card at his official residence in Srinagar on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t present in Kashmir. It’s unfortunate at a time when Union territories are being converted into states. Here a full-fledged state was downgraded into two UTs,” Mir said.
Mir said if this has been done in the name of bringing development in J&K then who had stopped them when the Centre was directly ruling here.
“For more than a year J&K was under the Centre’s rule, why didn’t they (the Centre) bring development in the state. The last time also the Centre had ruled this place.”
NC’s MP from Baramulla Akbar Lone said he had received an invite from the government but he declined.
“I along with other NC MP, Hasnain Masoodi, was in Srinagar. If we would have gone there that would have been our endorsement to the bifurcation of the state. Our party is against the abrogation of Article 370 and the way J&K has been treated by the BJP government,” Lone said.
Hasnain Masoodi, who represents the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, said he along with Akbar Lone decided not to attend the ceremony.
Opposition Congress claimed their leaders were not even invited for the function and termed the bifurcation of the state as undemocratic.
“They didn’t invite us because the government is doing the entire exercise undemocratically,” the president of Congress’ J-K unit, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, said.
The Congress leader said when Satya Pal Malik took oath as the governor, the leaders of Congress were extended the invitation to attend the ceremony.
“I was also invited then,” he said.