Amended land laws smack of BJP’s cheap politics, deceit, says Omar Abdullah

photo - Daily Mail India
SRINAGAR: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday slammed the Centre over the amendments in the land laws in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and alleged that the move smacked of the BJP’s “cheap politics and deceit”.

Calling the amended Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, which has come into force with immediate effect, as “hostile to the interests” of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, the former chief minister said the amendments to the land ownership law has put the union territories up for sale.

“With these new laws in place tokenism of the domicile certificate has been done away with as purchasing non-agricultural land has been made easier. These new laws are unacceptable to people of J&K, Ladakh,” he said in a statement here.

Omar also said the BJP remains unchallenged in the “opportunistic politics” and that the issuance of the amended land rules notification smacks of its “cheap politics and deceit”.

“Interestingly the Centre waited till the elections to LAHDC (Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh) had concluded and the BJP had won a majority before putting Ladakh also up for sale. This is what Ladakhis got for trusting the assurances of the BJP,” he said.

He said the new laws are a consequence of the measures undertaken by the Centre on August 5 last year without “democratic bearings and much to the resentment and anger of the region’s populace”.

“The measure reflects the wanton breach of trust of the people of J&K by a dispensation which is brewing with abhorrence for the diversity of the country and the democracy. The measures are also part of a larger design aimed to destroy the local, distinctive cultural identity of Kashmir thereby giving a ditch to the successive promises made by the successive central governments from time to time,” he said.

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Omar said “such measures reveal that it is not the people’s aspirations which matters to the ruling dispensation at New Delhi, it is rather the land which they want to hold on and are interested in.”

The Centre has paved the way for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the union territory by amending several laws, over a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

In a gazette notification, the Centre has omitted the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of the land in the union territory.

Before repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the fresh changes have paved the way for non-residents to buy land in the union territory.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) leader and former legislator M Y Tarigami also targeted the BJP-led government for the amendments and said, “It is daylight robbery of land” in the name of “integration, development and security”.

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