Jammu, November 17 | Flaying the decision of BJP led NDA govt. at the centre to Club Jammu with Kashmir and to grant it the status of Union Territory, Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and Former Minister said that downgrading of the State had come as a bolt from the blue. The decision of the central govt. has been full of shock and offence for the nationalist people of Jammu who are feeling betrayed and downgraded.
While abrogation of Article 370 and 35A was welcome, the lowering of the status of a 200-year-old state to Union Territory was irking the minds of the people especially of Jammu region who felt disgraced and dishonoured, said Singh. He was addressing a well-attended meeting at Raipur in Raipur-Domana Constituency.
Countering the argument advanced by Amit Shah that UT was status was accorded to J&K only to address the law and order situation in the valley, Singh questioned as to why Jammu was brought within its ambit. “Why should Jammu be made to suffer for the troubles in Kashmir? Why should the Jammu region be deprived of its right to have a govt of its own? Why should it be also brought under central rule along-with Kashmir? Jammu can’t be allowed to be disgraced merely for the political expediencies of BJP at the centre. If there are trouble makers in Kashmir, the remedy does not lie in punishing the nationalist people of Jammu who have always respected law of the land and stood by the nation”, said Singh while describing the union govt. the decision as repulsively bizarre and an insult to dogra land.
Seeking early review of the decision, Singh cautioned the BJP led govt. to refrain from downplaying the sentiments of people of Jammu region who gave it a massive mandate in Assembly and Parliament elections. He said that the people of dogra land had overwhelmingly voted BJP to power on the strength of its slogans to uphold the honour of dogras who made countless scarifies for creation of the state. He said that Maharaja Hari Singh, the legendary dogra ruler had acceded the state to the Indian Union under the belief that the interest of his subjects and dogras would be duly safeguarded under the Dominion of India. He regretted that the only Dogra State in the country had lost its identity as the state for which the BJP led govt. was answerable and owed an explanation to the dogras inhabiting various parts of the state and the country.
“We can no longer play a second fiddle to Kashmir leadership who would still continue to hold the majority in the Assembly of the proposed Union Territory by virtue of a higher number of seats earmarked for the valley. The union govt. has got to take the people of Jammu on board and address their aspirations as well. And rather than clubbing Jammu with Kashmir, the Govt. must immediately announce statehood for Jammu region in conformity with the slogans of its leaders and its affiliated organizations including RSS”, said Singh.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Adv. Bansi Lal Sharma, Brij Bushan Singh, Avtar Singh, Shanker Singh Chib, Partap Singh, Aditya Hans, Nirmal Kishore, Vinod Singh Jamwal besides others.