J&K demand not irrelevant: Mahanta
7 July 2000
The Times of India
GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Friday demanded more powers to states, saying this would bring about a true federal polity and remove regional imbalances. Jammu and Kashmir''s demand for autonomy was ''not irrelevant'', but ''we have differences of opinion regarding their demand to revert to the pre-1953 position,'' the chief minister said. He, however, clarified, while addressing a press conference here, that he did not favour the kind of autonomy Jammu and Kashmir had demanded. Pointing out that his Asom Gana Parishad party had raised the issue 13 years ago, the chief minister feared that concentration of all power in the Centre would weaken the states.