India

Dr Karan Singh bats for state holiday on father Maharaja Hari Singh"s birthday

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[ September 24, 2017 ] Former Union Minister and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dr Karan Singh lambasted the National Conference leadership for opposing a Jammu and Kashmir Assembly resolution to declare a state holiday on September 23, the birthday of his father Hari Singh, the last Maharaja of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.The resolution was passed by the legislative council on January 25 but was opposed by the National Conference in the Assembly. The resolution was moved by his BJP MLC Ajatshatru Singh and was seconded by PDP MLC Vikramaditya Singh, both of whom are the grandsons of Hari Singh and sons of Dr. Karan Singh.Dr Karan Singh questioned why a state holiday cannot be declared for Hari Singh, who signed the instrument of accession, when a state holiday has been declared for Sheikh Abdullah, who played a role in Jammu and Kashmir"s accession to India.While appreciating the role played by Sheikh Abdullah, Dr Karan Singh spoke about the visionary reforms brought about by his late father. He went on to emphasise that political differences should be put asides and the sentiments of lakhs of people in Jammu and Kashmir must be respected. Declaring a state holiday on Hari Singh"s birthday, Dr Singh added, would be honouring the memory of a man who signed the instrument of accession. It deserves mentioning here that CJI Justice TS Thakur had expressed support for the demand that Hari Singh"s birthday be celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir as a state holiday. Justice Thakur had said that as a member of the judicial system, he particularly appreciated Maharaja Hari Singh in his wisdom, especially the steps he took to institute a board of judicial advisors in the state in order deliver fair justice and ensure rule of law.