Jolt to NC: Devender Rana resigns; may join BJP this week

Says Jammu Declaration will be his political philosophy and he will pursue it religiously

Jolt to NC: Devender Rana resigns; may join BJP this week

Devender Rana addresses supporters in Jammu on Sunday.

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 10

Three-time legislator and the longest-serving provincial president of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference in Jammu, Devender Singh Rana on Sunday resigned from the primary membership of the party along with another leader Surjeet Slathia.

The two may join the BJP this week.

Rana, who became NC provincial president in Jammu in 2011 after serving as political adviser to former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, told The Tribune that he would “change his political course in the coming days”.

He did not say if he would join the BJP.

Asked why he left the NC, which suffered a huge jolt with his exit today, Rana said his pursuit of the proposed Jammu Declaration would be his political philosophy going forward.

The declaration was proposed in January this year.

Describing it as a political roadmap emanating from Jammu, Rana said the concept was key to restoring Jammu and Kashmir’s inclusiveness to its pristine glory.

The former MLA said the declaration was a way forward for respecting the urges and aspirations of all the regions and sub-regions of Jammu and Kashmir with none being discriminated against or dominated politically, socially and economically.

“Everyone irrespective of region, religion or caste must have equal rights on resources and in governance. Fair play and justice should not only be the bedrock of the political system but even the perception of one being appeased at the cost of other due to politico-strategic expediencies should become an imperative of the past, he said, adding that Jammu region has hugely suffered on all these counts over the decades,” said Rana, the younger brother of Minister of State for PMO Jitender Singh.  

The former NC strongman exuded confidence that the Jammu Declaration would eventually lead to offsetting the fault-lines created between the regions, various segments of society, as also with the rest of the country.

“We will work against forces that wish to foist the Dixon Plan here,” Rana said.

The trust deficit of decades, he said, needs to be bridged to ensure unity between people and J&K’s regions and sub-regions.

He said the narrative coming for secular Jammu will set in motion the process of intra-region and inter-religious discourse, crucial for unity and harmony.

“The engagement has to be holistic, between regions, sub regions, religious communities and ethnic groups. All these form the core of the land of saints and sages from times immemorial. This glorious heritage is required to be retrieved and strengthened,” he said.

Rana added that the Jammu Declaration had caught the imagination of the people in general and intelligentsia, civil society and the political class in particular, as it held a promise for marginalised segments and regions of the UT.

He said Jammu has to play a major role in making the declaration a success.

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