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Visit of 40 Ministers to J&K, a mere publicity stunt: Harsh Dev

Jammu, January 18 | Referring to the proposed visit of 40 Union Ministers to the UT of J&K all during the next seven days, Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman JKNPP & former Minister questioned as to how such collective march of central Ministers was likely to benefit the people of the newly created UT. He said that the macabre drama appeared to have been conceptualized as a political firecracker ahead of the elections by the BJP to whip up hysteria in its favour.

“It’s the last roll of the dice by the saffron party ahead of elections. Having failed to live up to the expectations of the people of erstwhile State, the govt. was resorting to gimmicks and ministerial shows which would meet the same fate as its earlier drama of “Back to Village” programme. It’s a publicity stunt, pressure tactics, holy hypocrisy and a survival mantra in the face of fast dissipating credibility of the BJP. The BJP wants to bring almost half of the central ministers to disseminate its political philosophy at the cost of public exchequer without analyzing the financial fallouts of such gigantic rollercoaster exercise upon a cash-starved UT like J&K, regretted Singh. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.

Accusing the BJP leadership of indulging in theatrics and tantrums to woo the voters, Harsh Dev said that people of J&K could no longer be seduced by pomp and show of such ministerial functions. “No gimmickry could now beguile them. They were fast realizing that J&K was being used as an electoral trump card by the saffron party to brighten its prospects in elections across the country. Slogans like Art. 370 were being used to promote the party in other parts of the country without addressing the genuine concerns of the people of J&K post Reorganization. The centre had failed to come up with a law on domicile so as to protect the jobs and lands of locals despite its loud pronouncements. The internet services continued to be blocked despite categoric directives of the Supreme Court to review the gag order.

There were no takers for the shrill cries of students, traders and professionals for the restoration of internet services who had sustained huge losses. The unemployed youth of J&K have been the worst sufferers with all recruitment has come to a standstill. The daily wagers, contractual beside other sections of employees remained unpaid for months together with none to listen to their woes. The liabilities under MGNREGA had swelled to over Rs. 1000 crore with govt. failing to respond to repeated clamours of the village Panchayats for clearance of work done claims. With none to address the genuine concerns of the teeming millions, all tall talk of developmental trajectory in J&K had proved a farce. And now the visit of 40 Ministers would further add to the financial burden of the UT which was already reeling under the pressure of ever-burgeoning liabilities”, regretted Harsh Dev.

The NPP leader said that rather than visiting the UT to fulfil their urge for photogenic teleshoots, the BJP leadership might as well restore the civil liberties and other democratic rights of the people of J&K who are bearing the brunt of a dictatorial, authoritarian regime.

Parshotam Parihar, State Secretary-PTU and Surinder Chouhan, District President Jammu (Rural) of JKNPP were also present in the press conference.

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