What do you feel about the EC's turning down of the Government recommendation to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir?
I am happy, very happy. The situation at present is certainly not conducive to a free and fair poll.
How can you claim the National Conference is the people's only representative?
I never said that autonomy is dear only to the National Conference. Just as the presidential order extending Central laws on Kashmir was issued undermining the special status as guaranteed under Article 370, a similar order can be issued repealing unacceptable laws so that the special status is restored back to us.
But the earlier presidential order was issued on the recommendation of the state's Constituent Assembly.
Yes, after Sheikh Abdullah and his followers were locked up, the Assembly lost its representative character. Sheikh and his colleagues would never have allowed this to happen.
But the same Assembly ratified the state's accession. Is that also illegal?
No, the accession was ratified by the 1952 Delhi Agreement, which should be restored in letter and spirit. Excepting accession, all decisions taken by that Assembly after 1953 were illegal. We have to go back to the time before that. We will review all laws, retain those which we feel are in our interest and return the others to you.
There has been a demand for a referendum to choose true representatives of the people, with the mandate to take up issues like accession, and autonomy.
I do not indulge in day dreams. I know Kashmir will never go to Pakistan. I also say that we are not going to get freedom. Whatever we can get has to be within India. I am not among those who think that we will get back POK. Let it remain with Pakistan and if we are able to make this part of Kashmir a real heaven, that will be great.
If New Delhi rejects...