Jammu & Kashmir

National Conference Chief Spokesperson Agha Ruhullah Mehdi resigns from position

Srinagar: Senior National Conference leader, Agha Ruhullah Mehdi on Tuesday resigned as the Chief Spokesperson of the National Conference.

Ruhullah has been a former MLA from Budgam and has been vocal on twitter criticising the party’s stand post August 5, 2019.

“I have sent across my resignation from the post of Chief Spokesperson of @JKNC_ . From here on none of my statements should be considered as such,” said Mehdi on Twitter.

Ruhullah in May had distanced himself from the party’s stand of maintaining silence over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after August 5 and removed his party designation from his Twitter handle.

Breaking the silence that his party had maintained for almost a year after the abrogation of Article 370 and the Reorganization of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, National Conference Leader Omar Abdullah on Sunday writing a piece in India’s national daily, The Indian Express, penned down his thoughts about what happened on the August 5, 2019.

In the piece, Omar made it clear that he will not be contesting assembly elections as long as Jammu and Kashmir remains a Union Territory.

“Over the last seven decades, Union Territories have been upgraded to states but this was the first time a state was downgraded to a Union Territory,” the piece read.

“I am very clear that while J&K remains a Union Territory I will not be contesting any Assembly elections. Having been a member of the most empowered Assembly in the land and that, too, as the leader of that Assembly for six years, I simply cannot and will not be a member of a House that has been disempowered the way ours has,” he wrote.

On August 5, 2019, the Government of India had unanimously abrogated Article 370 that granted the region Autonomy, as per the conditions of the Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India.

The move was made while all communication was blacked out, political leadership jailed, and curfew imposed in the region.

Following the abrogation, Jammu and Kashmir was re-organised into two union territories, governed directly by New Delhi though a selected local administration. Since then, the Government of India has changed many laws, including those that protected indigenous Kashmiris’ land rights.

As the removal of Article 370 ended the prohibition of outsiders to own land, the Domicile law was introduced to grant citizenship of Jammu and Kashmir to outsiders, triggering a fear of Demographic change in the region. Since then, thousands of outsiders have been given the domicile certificates, including ex Indian Army personnel

 

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