Bhim Singh removed as party patron after meeting PAGD leaders

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Jammu, Nov 7 (PTI) The National Panthers Party (NPP) on Saturday removed its founder and patron Bhim Singh from his position after he attended a meeting of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), saying 'there is no place in the party for those who disrespect Jammu region's sentiment'.

Singh attended the PAGD meeting at the Bathindi residence of National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah here this morning.

Peeved over Singh's interaction with the PAGD leadership against the decision of the party, NPP chairman Harsh Dev Singh along with state party president Balwant Singh Mankotia and general secretary Yash Paul Kundal announced his removal from the position of party patron.

'Bhim Singh has lost his nerve due to age factor and has been showing inconsonance with the ideology of the party and hobnobbing with the elements inimical to the interests of Jammu region,' the NPP chairman told reporters.

He said the decision of the party not to participate in the People's Alliance conference of 'Gupkar gang' was duly conveyed to him but he chose to defy it for reasons best known to him.

Meanwhile, Bhim Singh said he was invited over morning tea by Abdullah.

In a release, the NPP patron said Abdullah sought his views to resolve the present crisis in Jammu and Kashmir. He added that he told the senior Kashmiri leadership that he stands for restoration of statehood without delay with all fundamental rights provided in the Constitution.

He said that he and the Panthers Party have been pleading with the President to convene a meeting of the Parliament to reconsider the restoration of Article 370 on merits.

'That the Panthers Party stood for restoration of fundamental rights to all the residents of J&K which was possible only after removal of Article 35-A which was valid only for six months as it was issued by the President of India in 1934,' he said.

“The fundamental rights in J&K stand hampered because of Article 35-A. This is the Panther Party's stand that residents of J&K should be provided all fundamental rights without delay,' the statement quoted him as saying.

It said the Panthers Party is opposing the application of J&K Public Safety Act which has become invalid after the removal of Article 35-A. PTI TAS ZMN