Srinagar: Political parties in the Kashmir Valley are up in arms over what they say are Governor Satyapal Malik’s efforts to change the process of granting Permanent Resident Certificate or PRC in the state – a very sensitive issue in Kashmir Valley. Sources said that there are efforts to simplify the rules to grant Permanent Residency and the Governor has written to administrative officials seeking their input.
The Permanent Residency Status is linked to the Constitution’s Article 35A — which grants the state its special status and has been challenged in the Supreme Court. It classifies people who are eligible as permanent residents in Jammu and Kashmir and enjoy special rights and privileges.
The matter has brought together the political leaders in Kashmir Valley, who claim it is possible that under the garb of simplification, the rules can be diluted. This might help outsiders get residency status in the state, which will change its demography. They contend that the Governor, who is currently in the capacity of a caretaker, cannot make any change without consulting the stakeholders.
Last week, following rival claims by Mehbooba Mufti and Sajad Lone, Governor Satyapal Malik had dissolved the state assembly, clearing decks for assembly elections in the state. In absence of any elected government, any change in the PRC can be made by an order of the Governor.
The two mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir – Omar Abdullah’s Natioinal Conference and Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party – have vehemently objected to Governor Satyapal Malik’s move. Sajad Lone, who wanted to form government in the state last week with BJP support, has found himself on the same page as Mehbooba Mufti, who put in a rival claim.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti opposed the Governor’s move to turn Jammu and Kashmir Bank into a PSU
In his letter, which he posted on Twitter, Omar Abdullah said, “The State administrative council (SAC) is unilaterally bringing changes in the working of institutions and procedures, a practice that is against the principles and spirit of democracy and participative governance”
Fax received from @jandkgovernor Malik Sahib which I’m sharing here. I’m pleased to note no changes are being proposed to the PRC certificate rules. pic.twitter.com/7jWLgDm0Zm
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 2, 2018
Mr Abdullah said it was a “brazen act to further create mistrust among people” and can have serious effects on peace and harmony in the state.