Srinagar- Premier Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed declared here today that in future the Sadr-i-Riyasat would be designated as Governor and the State Prime Minister as Chief Minister, as in other States of the country.
He was delivering his farewell address to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council.
The Premier was cheered as he made the announcement.
He said he was giving these directives to his successor Government who would introduce appropriate constitutional amendments in the next session of the State Legislature.
He also favoured the integration of the Kashmir National Conference with the Indian National Congress and characterized his becoming a Congress member as a first step in this direction.
He was relinquishing office to work in a larger field as a Congressman.
Outlining his achievements during his 10-year rule as Premier, Bakshi said the State had been brought much nearer to the Union as a result of extension of the jurisdiction of the Election Commission, the Supreme Court and the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India to Kashmir, abolition of customs barriers as well as permit system, regulating the entry of persons into the State and integration of State services with all-India services.
Kashmir’s accession to India ratified by the State Constituent Assembly on Feb. 6, 1954, was now irrevocable and nobody on earth could bring about any change in this relationship, he asserted.
He said a decision had also been taken providing for direct election of Kashmir’s representatives to Parliament “as soon as the emergency was over.”
Enumerating the measures introduced to make the State internally strong, Bakshi said landlordism had been abolished, rural indebtedness scaled down by 51 per cent, compulsory levy on landowners done away with, rehabilitation of lakhs of people from Pak-occupied Kashmir had almost been completed and a high power anti-corruption commission had been set up in the State.
Earlier, replying to the debate on industrial policy, Bakshi conceded that failure of public sector industries had been mainly due to running them “Just like other Government departments instead of on commercial lines.”
He declared that Kashmir would be guided by the industrial policy resolution of the Union Government.
He assured equal treatment to public, private and co-operative sectors of industry.
He said he was stepping down as Premier with his head high and a sense of confidence that what he promised to people on assuming office in August, 1953, he had been able to fulfil.
The Premier said he would not be able to sit in the House any more but would be watching their activities with unabated interest. He felt his successor-whom he did not name-and his colleagues had the capacity and the calibre to “carry forward this small State full of numerous, complicated problems.”
Mr Sheo Narayan Fotedar, Chairman of the Council, felicitated the Premier on his “glorious achievements.” He said he had never seen any Kashmir Premier, except the late Mr Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, to lay down the office at the peak of his glory in such calm, cool and complacent manner.