J&K Assembly degraded to level of glorified municipality: Aga Ruhullah 

| Updated: 12 May, 2024 10:40 pm IST
Emaad Makhdoomi in conversation with Aga Ruhullah 

SRINAGAR: In an exclusive interview with The New Indian‘s Principal Correspondent, Emaad Makhdoomi, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, former J&K cabinet minister, Shia cleric, and Lok Sabha candidate for the Srinagar constituency under the banner of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, articulated his stance on various pressing issues.

Expressing his decision to abstain from participating in any future assembly elections in J&K, Aga Mehdi underscored the erosion of the state assembly’s constitutional integrity and guarantees post its downgrade to a Union Territory, which he likened to a “glorified municipality.” He asserted that partaking in such elections would inadvertently legitimize the decisions made on August 5, 2019, and perpetuate the existing status quo.

Reflecting on the dissolution of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Aga Mehdi lamented the lack of conducive conditions for fostering unity among its members, citing instances of internal dissent and verbal attacks against the National Conference by certain alliance constituents. Despite this setback, he reiterated his belief in the overarching cause uniting all political parties in J&K and expressed optimism for a future rekindling of unity within the PAGD.

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Addressing the existential concerns of Kashmiris, Aga Mehdi highlighted a pervasive sentiment of disenfranchisement and the erosion of autonomy, dignity, and resource sovereignty among the populace. He emphasized the imperative of restoring the promised dignity and rights of Kashmiris within the framework of India’s constitutional ethos.

Looking forward to potential parliamentary representation, Aga Mehdi vowed to challenge the constitutional validity and democratic legitimacy of decisions made on August 5, 2019, advocating for the restoration of democracy and pluralism not only in J&K but across the nation. He pledged to champion interfaith harmony, social inclusivity, and dialogue both within J&K and at the national level.

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In response to recent allegations levied by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the National Conference, Aga Mehdi urged the PDP to purge itself of elements allegedly conspiring to undermine the PAGD’s unity. He cautioned against succumbing to divisive tactics orchestrated by external forces and urged PDP’s leadership to prioritize the broader interests of Kashmir. He said, “If PDP claims that NC engaged in election manipulation in 1987, it should recall that the original members of PDP were backing the INC during that period.”

On the issue of Kashmiri Pandits’ migration, Aga Mehdi acknowledged the collective failure of the Muslim majority in Kashmir to prevent their exodus, attributing it to circumstantial constraints rather than deliberate actions. He emphasized the need for introspection and reconciliation to address historical grievances and foster communal harmony in the region.

 

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