JAMMU: National Conference Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana on Sunday appreciated BJP National President Mr Amit Shah’s candid admission on PDP-BJP government’s betrayal with Jammu and Ladakh regions and rejection of his party by the people of Jammu region. “Mr Amit Shah showed immense degree of realism by saying on the death anniversary of Dr Shyama Prasad Mookherji in Jammu that the BJP was ready to sit in opposition and now it is incumbent upon his party’s 25 MLAs to voluntarily quit and pave the way for election of genuine representatives of the people”, Mr Rana said while replying a question on the demand of National Conference for dissolution of Legislative Assembly at a press conference at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this evening.
He said the BJP President has gone on record saying that the just ended coalition government failed in satiating the urges and aspirations of the people of Jammu and therefore his party’s lawmakers have a moral obligation to quit. He, however, disagreed with Mr Amit Shah’s contention that the BJP had aligned with the PDP for national interest and pulled out of the government keeping in view the national interest. He said Mr Shah is perhaps mistaking BJP interest as national interest.
Mr Rana also questioned the arguments put-forth by Mr Amit Shah over non-accomplishment of developmental agenda during the misgovernance of 1120 days misrule since March 2015 and asked why the coalition failed in setting up of AIIMS and three Medical Colleges in the Jammu region despite health ministry being presided over by BJP ministers Ch Lal Singh and Mr Bali Bhagat. He (Mr Shah) cannot show helplessness with regard to SMART City project as the Housing and Urban Development ministry was headed by his party’s stalwart Dr Nirmal Singh as Deputy Chief Minister. Dr Singh also failed in flagging off the BJP’s much trumpeted Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana with not a single penny spent in Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly the BJP minister failed in completing the Artificial Lake Project, taken up during the tenure of Mr Omar Abdullah as Chief Minister. Almost same was the fate of Tawi River Front Project for which Dr Nirmal Singh visited Gujarat and brought a team to have it accomplished on the pattern of Sabarmati Project, he added.
The Provincial President referred to the plight of the border dwellers and said not a single commitment was kept with them. He said the failure in keeping the promise of allotting five marla plots was attributed to the army’s denial on having these due to security reasons, which the latter vehemently refuted. He said against the recommendation of Rs 9025 crores by the Omar led government, the Centre sanctioned just Rs 2000 crore for one time settlement of PoK refugees and it is yet to be told as to how much of these paltry funds have been released and provided to the targeted refugees.
Mr Rana said that the BJP created lot of hype over illegal settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu and referred to the oft-repeated stand of National Conference that they be treated as per Foreign Nationals Act. “The bravado shown by the BJP disappeared soon after they sat in the cradle of power with the PDP”, he said, adding that his party had described the coalition as unholy from day-one. The recent developments have vindicated us, he added.
The Provincial President lamented over double speak of the BJP, saying on the one had Mr Amit Shah blames the former Chief Minister for being soft towards militancy and on the other hand he recounts as big achievement the number of militants killed from 2015 till date, comparing with the previous years. “Both the BJP and the PDP appears to be confused, rather frustrated, which is why they are not able to keep their act together”, he said, adding that the BJP has hugely exploited sentiments of the people of Jammu for over six decades and when it came to deliverance, they raised their hands. He said the scenario in both Kashmir and Ladakh is no difference. While the Valley is braving the brunt of violence, Ladakh too is disenchanted, which is reflected by the statement of the BJP MP Thupsan Chewang’s recent statement. He also dwelt on various subjects and recounted the failures of the just ended coalition dispensation. He said conservation of Devak River has received a massive setback and the BJP dispensation failed in restoring it to its pristine glory.
Elaborating on Mr Amit Shah’s admission of failures on the observance of Dr Shyama Prasad Mookherji’s death anniversary in Jammu, the Provincial President wondered why the BJP's bigwigs including senior ministers remained silent during their intermittent visits to Jammu and Kashmir during the past few years. “They kept portraying a rosy picture, contrary to what Mr Shah said here yesterday”, he added.
Mr Rana urged the Governor’s administration for restoration of peace and normalcy in the State with an avowed objective of creating a conducive atmosphere for holding free and fair elections. To a question on Dogra pride, Mr Rana said Dogriyat was running in the blood of every Dogra of Jammu, irrespective of caste, creed and religion and those claiming its ownership were misusing the term for deriving political mileage.
In response to another question, the Provincial President described the threats by a BJP MLA to media as unfortunate and outrageous, saying nobody has a right to coerce or intimidate the fourth pillar of democracy, which has been working under pulls and pressures in most difficult situations. Those present on the occasion included NC State Secretary Mr Rattan Lal Gupta, former MLCs Mr T. S Wazir, Th Kashmira Singh and Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Provincial Vice Presidents Mr G S Sasan, Choudhry Haroon and Mr Anil Dhar, District President Urban Mr Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Co Chairperson of SC/OBC Cells Mr Vijay Lochan and Mr Abdul Gani Teli and others.