Straight Line News Network
JAMMU, Dec 5: Known as Mr. Dependable, Provincial President of National Conference (NC) Devinder Rana has seemingly taken it upon himself to recast the party and keep the cadre rejuvenated after the dilution of Article 370 and abrogation of Article 35-A besides incarceration of the top leadership of party on August 5, 2019 by the BJP-led NDA government.
Article 370 and Article 35-A were the two central planks of National Conference (NC). President of NC Dr. Farooq Abdullah had repeatedly said that none would dare to touch Article 370 since it was article of faith for the entire populace of Jammu and Kashmir. August 5 was, thus doomsday for the party, which had in the year 1999, passed a resolution for the restoration of Greater Autonomy.
Even Devinder Singh Rana was put under house arrest for more than two months. When he was set free, Rana treaded cautiously. He spoke sense. He made statements, which neither went against the party line nor annoyed the BJP-led government at the centre. Rana led a party delegation, which met Dr. Farooq Abdullah at his residence where he has been kept after being booked under Public Safety Act (PSA). He came out and spoke to media sensibly.
Thereafter, he addressed media in Jammu, appeared on the national channels and did sole interviews with local portals but the conduct was both exemplary and politically correct. Rana has not walked a single wrong step since the day of his release. On December 5, 2019; National Conference of Jammu Province celebrated 114th Birth Anniversary of NC’s founder Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah. Again, Rana ensured, he spoke what was required.
In a handout issued from the party headquarters, Devinder Singh Rana made it clear to the party rank and file that working committee of the party would decide future course of action after the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A. This was to make sure, none spoke on behalf of the party president Dr. Farooq Abdullah or working President Omar Abdullah. He made it clear that only the working committee decision should be seen as future strategy of the party and not what individuals or lifelong members of National Conference say or do.
He said that since 60 percent of the leaders are still under detention, no party functionary is accredited to dwell upon overall political situation post abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A. Rana said that National Conference would continue to uphold the ideals of the great visionary leader, who worked tirelessly all his life to uphold secular, pluralistic, democratic, muliti-ethnic and multi linguistic ethos of Jammu and Kashmir and strived for empowerment of down-trodden and marginalized segments of the society while continuously endeavouring for strengthening the various institutions and taking governance to grassroots level.
Devender Singh Rana said the leader of the masses rejected the two-nation theory of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and tied destiny of Jammu and Kashmir with Gandhiji’s secular India because of his unflinching commitment to secularism and democracy. He recalled the great role of the tallest leader of the Indian sub-continent in transforming Muslim Conference into National Conference, as he firmly believed in taking all segments of the inclusive society along.
“Sheikh Abdullah will be remembered by generations for his revolutionary Land Reforms Act, devolution of powers under Single Line Administration to ensure equitable development of all the regions and sub-regions besides promoting Panchayati Raj System to empower people at grass roots level”, the Provincial President said, adding that Sheikh Sahib’s role will go down in the annals of history with golden letters and historians can never afford to ignore the contribution of National Conference towards peace, prosperity and development of Jammu and Kashmir besides upholding the dignity of the people.
He said the party has weathered political storms during most turbulent times and referred to the political developments of 1953, 1977 and 1984. He exuded confidence that the people in general and the National Conference cadre in particular will meet the challenges in future as well with courage and fortitude. “National Conference will emerge like a phoenix because of its deep connect with the people, who are are embrio of democracy,” Rana hoped.