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Will try to table temples bill during budget session: Omar

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said if a majority of Kashmiri Pandits wants a bill for safeguarding temples and shrines in the Valley, an attempt would be made to present it during the budget session of the assembly.

Claiming that a consensus over the bill is unlikely, the chief minister said they would table it in the House and see who is in favour and who is not.

‘We always take the majority’s point of view. If a majority of Kashmiri Pandits thinks that the bill should be passed, we will try to bring it during the budget session of the House and see who is on which side of the fence. It is my commitment that I will talk to my members,’ Omar told Kashmiri Pandits at a function here.

The All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC), a conglomeration of several organisations of Kashmiri Pandits and Prem Nath Bhat Trust, has been campaigning for the bill on temples and shrines for safe-guarding them in the valley.

Omar said, ‘We presented the bill in the assembly when we were in opposition. We had been assured that a consensus would be arrived at, but unfortunately those who don’t have to do anything with your community opposed it. Even the Centre was misguided on it.’ 

‘In the last few functions, I came across the word 'consensus' three to four times. I feel that it is a dangerous word. My experience is when we do not want to do anything, we bring in the word ‘consensus’. When there is talk of Jammu & Kashmir, we talk of consensus, though we know there can be no consensus on these issues,’ he said.
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