Kathua: National Conference leader Dr Farooq Abdullah today batted for a decisive role for the weaker sections in decision-making, saying that unless they are empowered, the progress of Jammu and Kashmir will remain meaningless.
"Peasants and weaker sections form the core of our society and their politico-economic empowerment is imperative for the harmonious growth of the state," he said at a function at Padyari here this morning.
Abdullah referred to landmark initiatives undertaken by his party decades ago for the economic emancipation of the poor segments of society and spoke of "pioneering steps" aimed at empowering the poor taken by his late father, Sher-e- Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.
"Those were the times when such a revolutionary measure was beyond the imagination of the political class," he said, adding that with a single decision, lakhs of peasants woke up as masters of the holdings they had till then been tilling as labourers.
Abdullah exhorted the people to "continue their war" under the banner of National Conference against deprivation and political exploitation, saying this mass movement has always worked for the suppressed segments of society. The youth has a big role in this "continuous fight", he added.
Speaking on the occasion, former legislator Sagar Chand described National Conference as the pivot of the peoples' political and economic aspirations.
"Sher-e-Kashmir's great legacy has withstood the test of time and National Conference has all along remained at the forefront for safe-guarding the interests of the people of the state irrespective of region, religion and caste," he said.