STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Appealing the Civil Society, Students, Youth, Social and political organizations of the region to dedicate the year 2021 for the cause of Jammu region, Harsh Dev Singh, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, said that the Panthers Party would provide a common platform for all those who stood for upholding and restoring the lost dignity and pride of the Dogra land.“Jammu region has been demeaned said diminished under BJP rule. It has been relegated to worse than second class status. The BJP has used Jammu as a mere vote Bank giving a damn to the aspirations of the people who have been made to reconcile with their ignominy and destitution. The entire focus of the BJP Govt even post Art 370 abrogation continues to remain on Ladakh and Kashmir. And Jammu region continues to be taken for granted in process”.This was stated by Harsh Dev while addressing a press conference in Jammu today.Speaking to media persons, Harsh Dev pointed towards the invitation extended by Union Home Minister to Ladakh delegation comprising all political parties for a dialogue and settlement of issues including protection of lands, Jobs, inclusion under Sixth Schedule and Smart cities mission besides general development and employment.The centre has already held a serious of meetings with Ladakh leadership over a host of issues with assurances of time bound redressal of their multifarious grievances. It has held meetings with several Kashmir based leaders as well over scores of issues with JKAP Party in the lead having been granted audience with the PM and HM on several occasions.Only recently, the PM announced to promote Kashmir saffron without uttering a word about Kishtwar and Doda saffron which too had earned worldwide fame. And it was immediately after abrogation of Art 370 that MIS was launched in Kashmir for valley based orchardists and their produce including apples, walnuts and saffron procured by the govt by fixing MSP for each category of produce.If, therefore, anybody remains unheard and unattended, its the people of Jammu region alone who continued to be looked upon with a Jaundiced eye even during the saffron regime”.Singh divulged that several ministries of Central Govt including HRD teams, Minority Affairs and Home Ministry teams besides others had repeatedly visited Kashmir, post Art 370 abrogation, with announcements of opening professional colleges, schools, Hospitals, skill development centres, socio-economic development projects besides release of funds for facelift of Srinagar city and its suburbs. The said teams however floundered to visit Jammu, the Dogra land which had given a massive mandate to BJP, he regretted. Likewise the central BJP leadership was repeatedly talking of Kashmir and its development without even making a mention of Jammu in its various speeches thereby drawing a flak from civil society of the region, said Singh. He deplored that with Ladakh too getting due attention of central leadership in the form of its inclusion in “Tribal Areas” category through proposed amendment of sixth schedule of constitution and its further inclusion, under “Smart Cities Mission”, it was Jammu region alone which continued to be given a step motherly treatment by the saffron flavoured govt at the centre.“If Jammu was given anything, it was announcements in the form of Toll Plazas, some opened and others in the pipeline”, maintained Singh. While the issues and concerns of the people of Jammu were pushed into the oblivion, a seemingly biased regime at the centre has chosen to placate Kashmir at the cost of its own core constituency which catapulted it to power, said the NPP Chairman.“It was BJP govt at the centre and state that imposed “Jazia” upon Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims in the form of 12.5 percent tax on helicopter services to holy shrine. And again it is the BJP govt at the centre that has failed to ensure justice to Jammu region youth in services. While the Jammu region was already contributing to around 76% of the total revenue realization in the state in the form of GST, VAT, MST, passenger tax, Excise duty, stamp duty, Toll tax etc the additional taxation of the people by installing further toll plazas had only crated massive embitterment in the hearts and minds of the people of this deprived, incarcerated dogra land”, maintained Singh. He said that while the Panthers Party stood for equitable justice to all regions, it was opposed to pampering of one region at the cost of the other.“And the incumbent govt was also pursuing the policy of its predecessors of “robbing peter and paying Paul” by subjecting Jammu to heavy taxation and tolls to appease a highly mollycoddled Kashmir. The BJP had betrayed the collective sentiment of Jammu Dogras for which it would have to pay a heavy price in the days to come”, said Harsh.Rajesh Padgotra Provincial Secretary, Gagan Pratap Singh State Secretary, Surinder Chouhan District President (Rural Jammu) and Gurdeep Singh Raju Youth Secretary (Rural Jammu) were also present in the press conference.
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