Governor Satyapal Malik was trying to bring changes to PRCs, say sources
All three political parties in Jammu and Kashmir – the National Conference (NC), People's Democratic Party (PDP) and BJP ally People's Conference – have opposed Governor Satyapal Malik's move to bring changes to the contentious Permanent Residential Certificates or PRCs.
Taking a potshot over the row about malfunctioning fax machine at the Governor's office, NC leader Omar Abdullah put out his party's letter on Twitter. "I'm trying to fax a letter to J&K Governor but the fax machine still isn't working. The operator who answered the phone says the fax operator is on holiday as it's a Sunday….Placing on record our concern about reports of changes being proposed to J&K permanent residence certificate rules."
"NC is of the opinion that this is an attempt to distort the demography of the state and finds it detrimental to J&K's special status," said Mr Abdullah in his letter.
I'm trying to fax a letter to @jandkgovernor but the fax machine still isn't working. The operator who answered the phone says the fax operator is on holiday as it's a Sunday. Will attempt again tomorrow in the mean time am forced to put the letter out through social media. pic.twitter.com/SykDQQPiOU
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 2, 2018
Sajad Lone, the chief of Peoples Conference ripped into Governor Satyapal Malik, opposing any "structural changes" to the Jammu and Kashmir Bank and PRCs. Reacting sharply to a recent move by the state administration council, under the Governor, to turn the Bank into a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), Mr Lone took to social media telling off Mr Malik to "restrict" himself to "basic governance."
"The governor and administration need to restrict itself to basic governance. No structural changes pertaining to PRC or J&K Bank are acceptable. Restrict your energies to what you are mandated to do- which incidentally you are not doing. Please don't invent new problems," Mr Lone tweeted.
The governor administration needs to restrict itself to basic governance. No structural changes pertaining to PRC or J K Bank are acceptable. Restrict your energies to what u r mandated to do— which incidentally u r not doing. Please don't invent new problems.
— Sajad Lone (@sajadlone) December 2, 2018
The state administration, sources say, plans to bring major changes to PRCs, which is already a sensitive issue that had seen widespread protests in Srinagar. The administration is contemplating of simplifying the procedure for grant of PRCs, while fixing a timeline under the Public Services Guarantee Act, said sources.
Permanent residence in Jammu and Kashmir relates to Article 35A, which empowers the state to classify people, who are eligible to stay there and enjoy special rights and privileges. The Supreme Court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions seeking the abrogation of the law, which was added by a presidential order in 1954, giving the state special status.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti opposed the Governor's move to turn Jammu and Kashmir Bank into a PSU
Last week PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti had opposed the Governor's move to turn the Jammu and Kashmir Bank into a PSU. Ms Mufti said that she had taken up the issue with finance minister Arun Jaitley, who assured her that the government "will re-examine the matter". Declaring the Jammu and Kashmir Bank as a PSU is "regressive and intrusive", which will further "alienate the people," Ms Mufti told the finance minister.
There is major confusion in the administration in the state after the Assembly was abruptly dissolved by Governor Satyapal Malik on November 24, hours after the PDP staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival NC and the Congress. It was followed by another bid from the two-member Mr Lone's People's Conference, which claimed the support of the BJP and 18 legislators from other parties.