Published On:31 December 2010
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Political parties react to 'Jammu discrimination’, Chief Minister on rotational basis?

By Bashir Assad

Jammu: Reacting to the voices being raised within Congress Party over the issue of regional discrimination meted out to Jammu region, the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir December 29, 2010 shared their opinion exclusively with Greater Jammu.

National Conference termed the allegations as baseless; BJP endorsed the views of senior Congress leaders Pandit Mangat Ram Sharma and Sham Lal; and JKNPP termed it as shedding crocodile tears.

Senior National Conference leader and Member Parliament said that the allegations of discrimination meted out to Jammu division were baseless and that there are some sectors wherein Jammu gets lion’s share and vice versa taking into account the potentiality of the region.

“The issue of discrimination was raised during Sheikh Sahib’s time also. Sheikh Sahib constituted Sikry Commission to unveil the truth. The commission submitted its report wherein it was denied that the region was ever been discriminated,” said Muhammad Shafi Uri adding that there are, of course some areas of development where Jammu gets lion's share as compared to Kashmir and vice versa depending upon the potentiality in the given sector. Referring to hydroelectric sector and industrial sector, Shafi said, “These are the sectors were Jammu division that get most of the allocations whereas Kashmir gets lion's share in tourism and allied sectors”. As for the centrally sponsored schemes, allocations are made strictly in accordance to the guide lines of the Centre so the question of discrimination does not arise.

On BJP’s demand for abrogation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution, Shafi said that the act was enacted with the full consent of Sardar Patel whom the BJP considers their ideologue and Shama Prasad Mukherjie never opposed the incorporation of Article 370. Shafi said that the Constitution of India came into force on the 26th January 1950 and Article 370 was to cover the case of Kashmir alone.

“In view of the special problem with which the Jammu and Kashmir government is faced, we have made special provisions for the continuance of the state with the Union on the existing basis,” Shafi quoted Sardar Patel as having declared. “The ‘existing basis ‘were the basis of instrument of accession’ and the special provisions were embodied in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

While commenting on hue and cry raised by Congress leaders over “discrimination issue” Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chief, Professor Bhim Singh termed it a rhetoric and political gimmick to hoodwink the people. “They are the real culprits who are responsible for the mess in Jammu and Kashmir. This Congress and these leaders opposed the delimitation tooth and nail, now they are shedding crocodile tears for electoral politics,” Bhim Singh said, adding that Congress and National Conference are two faces of same coin. “Girdari Lal Dogra remained finance minister for 23 years, he was the face of Congress in the state, what did he do for removing disparity, actually NC and Congress are exploiting the people from last six years and if the people of the state has to chose between progress, prosperity and exploitation politics of National Conference and Congress.

On demand for Chief Minister on rotational basis, Bhim Singh said that it was no solution to the problem, solution lies in reorganization of the state. “Let's have separate assemblies for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh under a true federal system by amending the Article 370 of the Constitution. Our demand for reorganization fulfills the constitutional requirements. NPP supremo said, adding that National Conference and Congress have brought the two regions head-on when the fact remains that people of both the regions are being discriminated by the politicians. “68% people in Kashmir are still illiterate and in Jammu it is 65%, where the amount has gone and where it has been spent. They have polarized the state, both regions are suffering. Why should Kashmiris raise fingers on Jammuities and vice versa, let's give them political and economic independence without disturbing the structural sovereignty of the state, let's have separate assemblies for all the three regions without going for the actual division of the state, Singh said. By political independence, I mean nip the evil (NC and Congress) in the bud, throw them out and free the state from their possession, added Bhim Singh. “National Conference had started war against Dogra rule in 1931 and Congress has been instrumental in suppression of legitimate concerns of the people of Jammu. Independent analysis of the happenings of past 60 years will definitely establish that Congress and NC are responsible for corruption and terrorism, added JKNPP Chief. He said that there are fourth schools of thought in Jammu and Kashmir, one for secession, another for division, third one for autonomy and fourth for self rule, they have nothing in common, they are contending thoughts, re-organization of the state is the only mechanism that bridges the all and advocates unity in diversity.

Professor Chaman Lal Gupta, senior BJP leader and former union minister in his reaction to the views expressed in Congress rally December 28, 2010 said that good sense has prevailed on Pandit Ji and Sham Lal. “As they are sharing power with National Conference, they should see to it that it is done away with.

Yes, we will be happy if some one from Jammu region replaces Omar Abdullah under power sharing agreement, nothing like that because Jammu is as important as Kashmir so there should be Chief Minister from Jammu also. Gajander Commission has recommended that chief minister and deputy chief ministers posts should rotate, so it is welcome if Congress presses for chief ministership for Jammu.

[Bashir Assad is a senior Journalist based in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He is now Bureau Chief (J&K) of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be contacted at bashirassad@rediffmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on December 31, 2010. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on December 31, 2010. Filed under , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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