JAMMU: Former J&K Chief Minister and Chairman of Democratic Azad Party (DAP), Ghulam Nabi Azad has said the Lt Governor’s rule is not enough for ensuring better development in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Governor’s rule alone is not enough to make progress in Jammu and Kashmir. It is very important to have an Assembly too. We have got feedback from the people as well,” Azad said while addressing a large meeting of DAP in Marh area of Jammu.
He said people will take part in the polls in a good number if J&K is given the status of a State first. Usually, UTs are upgraded to State. But in our case, State was downgraded to UT. It’s like demoting DGP to post of ‘Thanedaar, CM to MLA, and Chief Secretary to Patwari. “No wise man can do this,” Azad asserted.
The DAP leader stressed that there is no fight on Statehood in the Valley as Hindu brothers in Jammu, Sikhs, Muslims in Kashmir and even Pandits want Statehood. “No one should presume that only Kashmiris want the statehood, I have said it continuously and even in the All-Party Meet that even BJP leaders want Statehood,” Azad maintained.
The former Chief Minister said it the duty of the Government to uplift weaker sections of the society and framing schemes and providing subsidies for the same is the duty of ruling parties which run the Government. DAP is committed to uplift the socio-economic condition of the weaker sections of the society especially, those living in far-off and hilly areas of the State.
“Our mission is to ensure holistic development of the State on equitable basis, so that people get the requisite and essential amenities without facing any inconvenience, ” he said adding that people living in hilly areas who are living Below Poverty Line (BPL), should get focused attention.
The DAP chairman cautioned workers that there are elements trying to hatch conspiracies and create confusion. “We are on our own and our agenda is clear, straightforward and people- oriented,” he added.
Azad urged the Central Government that assurances given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to Jammu and Kashmir political leaders in the All-Party Meet in Delhi should be implemented in “short-term” as it will benefit the people. He referred to the restoration of SAtatehood and holding elections after delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir as assured by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to J-K leaders in the all party meeting.
Batting strongly for holding Assembly elections, he said for the past four years, there is no representative in J-K, which is the biggest cause of under development in the Union Territory. J&K is sensitive border sState sharing borders with Pakistan and China,” Azad said adding that every party has the right to take part in elections as part of the democratic process but it should maintain a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ and not use “unfair means”.
“It will be our request to the Central Government that assurances given by Prime Minister and Home Minister to the All-Party Meeting should be implemented in short-term rather than long-term, or medium-term, as it will benefit the people,” Azad said.
Former Dy Chief Minister Tara Chand in his address said that performance of BJP Government in the last 8 years has been poor on all fronts. Inflation has skyrocketed, because of which the lives of the common man have been seriously impacted, unemployment rate is the highest in 45 years.
With the rupee depreciating sharply, the economy is crumbling, Tara Chand said and alleged that in the last eight years, Modi’s industrialist friends have caused a lot of damage to the public through privatization of key public assets.
While lauding the leadership of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Balwan Singh said that opening of new Medical Colleges, Cancer Institutes, Health Centres, and extension of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in the erstwhile State proved the commitment, dedication and love of Azad towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir, adding that even in the short tenure of his Chief Ministership, J&K witnessed tremendous development and still people called his tenure a ‘Golden Era’ be it in Kashmir or Jammu. He said initiative of new administrative units was taken in Azad’s tenure who created districts and later Coalition Government under the leadership of Chief Minister completed the envisioned dream.
Prominent among those present and spoke on the occasion include former Ministers RS Chib, Dr Manohar Lal Sharma and Ch Garu Ram, senior DAP leaders Ashok Bhagat, MK Bhardwaj, Vinod Mishra, Corporator Gurav Chopra, Vicky Mahajan, RD Jamwal, Col Somnath Dogra, Darshan Motton and others.