Jitendra questions ‘selective silence’ of NC

Jammu, Aug 19: Union Minister Jitendra Singh today questioned the “selective silence” of the National Conference (NC) on the “settlement of Rohingyas, Burmese and Bangladesh nationals” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Hitting out at NC working president Omar Abdullah for raising “a hue and cry” on the issue of Article 35A of the Constitution, Singh said, “Let the discussion start from the settlement of the foreigners who have for the last 10-15 years settled here without any reason.”
“It was the National Conference-Congress government at that time. What is the stand of this political party, which maintains selective silence on the settlement of Rohingyas, Burmese and Bangladesh nationals, but raises hue and cry over the settlement of Indian nationals? That means it is mala fide intention,” Singh told reporters.
He was asked about Abdullah’s call for a special session of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature before August 29 to frame an appropriate response to counter the narrative on Article 35A, which empowers the Legislative Assembly to determine the issues with regard to permanent residence.
The former chief minister expressed grave concern over the reported “unsatisfactory response” of the central and state governments in putting up a strong case before the Supreme Court, hearing a plea against the constitutional provision empowering the state to determine the issues with regard to permanent residence.
Singh said, “If they want a discussion in the legislature, let it start from the settlement of the foreign people here.”
Asked about suggestions of the PDP and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha to the BJP leadership and the central government not to tamper with Article 35A, he said, “I have no hesitation in saying that there is ideological difference between the two coalition partners (BJP and PDP)… Instead of these issues, the government needs to focus on providing basic facilities to the people of the state.”
He also criticised Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for his remarks that 10 people will join militancy for the killing of every militant, and said, “Indian security forces have competence and capability to deal with as many militants who join the path of terrorism in Kashmir Valley.”