Srinagar:The National Conference (NC) on Thursday announced a boycott of the remaining special session of the state assembly, saying the GST resolution adopted by the government was a compromise with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and a surrender of its fiscal autonomy.
In a statement issued here, the NC said that finance minister Haseeb Drabu’s statement that Article 370 is an obstruction to the development and progress of the state reflects the machinations of the ruling dispensation against the special political and constitutional identity of J&K.
The NC issued its statement after a core group meeting chaired by party president Farooq Abdullah. The meeting was attended by NC working president Omar Abdullah, general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, senior leaders and core group members Abdul Rahim Rather, Muhammad Shafi Uri, Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Mian Altaf, Syed Aga Ruhullah Mehdi, provincial president Jammu, Devender Singh Rana and Mubarak Gul.
“The members expressed that it is evident that the PDP has committed its total support to the BJP’s ideological design to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution of India,” reads the statement. “This misadventure is going to have wider ramifications and dangerous consequences.”
“In the garb of evolving a ‘consensus’, the state government called a special session of the legislature to commit a monumental fraud on the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The ruling alliance has used their majority in the legislature to muzzle the voices that reflected the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir on this crucial and sensitive issue,” the statement said.
The core group decided that NC legislators will boycott the remaining part of the legislative session as a protest against the government’s “machinations to trample the aspirations of the people by demolishing the state’s special status.”
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) lashed out at the government for passing the GST resolution in the assembly without a consensus and said it was a deliberate attempt to harm the fiscal autonomy and special status of the state.
In a core group meeting held today under the chairmanship of JKPCC president G A Mir, the party legislators and senior leaders expressed serious concern over the way the resolution was passed in the House without taking the opposition on board, a party spokesman said here.
He said although the party was not against the GST, the way it was passed was “unacceptable” to it.
“The party leaders also expressed apprehensions that the passing of GST in a hurry will certainly harm the special status and the fiscal autonomy of the state,” the spokesman said.
He said the party described the passing of the resolution as a “black day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir”.
“The party also termed the assembly session and the meetings held from time to time in order to evolve a consensus on GST by the government as a mere eye-wash, while the passing of GST was already decided between the PDP and BJP,” he said.
Expressing serious apprehensions over the fate of the special status of the state, the core group termed the passing of GST Resolution as a “deliberate attempt” to harm the fiscal autonomy and special status by implementing the new tax regime in the state without the necessary amendments.
The core group also described the passing of the GST resolution as a “fixed match between the PDP and the BJP” and said it was “evident from day one” that the PDP and the BJP had planned to clear the resolution without considering the viewpoint of the opposition.
“The party feels duty bound to continue to oppose the mode of implementation of GST in its present form,” he said.
The spokesman said the core group added that the party would reach out to the people in the entire state to seek their feedback in order to devise a strategy with regard to the fallout of the GST in its present form.