Early Times Report
Srinagar, May 23: Succumbing to the pressure of its alliance partner, the BJP has purportedly decided not to raise demand for creation of new districts in the state.
The BJP had been supporting the agitation in Nowshera area of Jammu division for the creation of a new district. The state government, on March 9, had announced new posts of ADCs to work on rotational basis in Nowshera, Sunderbani Kalakote and Kortranka areas in an attempt to defuse the crisis. However, the formula was rejected by the residents of the areas.
Justifying their demand, the ruling BJP had said there was a "requirement" for creation of new districts in the state. BJP State Spokesperson, Arun Kumar Gupta had said: "New districts shall be created based on population of the state. The areas having less population have been granted district status while areas having large population are yet to get the district status, which is unfair."
The BJP leader had also said that there are "four to five new districts in the Jammu division whose geographical area was about 70 per cent more than that of Kashmir valley".
But BJP's alliance partner, PDP, believed that there was "no need" to create new districts.
Now, the BJP has decided not to raise the issue for creation of new district.
"There are already controversies between the coalition partners. The PDP has told the BJP not to raise the issue of creation of new districts," a BJP leader said, wishing not to be named.
The BJP leader claimed that Kashmir had three districts before June 1979 and Jammu region had six districts.
"The then state government created three more districts in the Valley without constituting any commission," he said.
"In Kashmir Valley the districts with very small areas like Kulgam, Bandipora, Shopian, and Ganderbal were created. Shopian, which was made district in 2006, has an area of 312 sq Km with only one Tehsil under it, as per 2011 census," he said. "But unfortunately, the BJP has so far given up the demand for the sake of power," he said.
He said that PDP believes that new districts were created when Ghulam Nabi Azad was heading the Congress-PDP government. "There is a need to strengthen them nor creation of new ones," the BJP leader said the PDP having said to its alliance partner.
In 2006, Azad led government created eight new districts in the state.
For Kashmir, Bandipora, Shopian, Kulgam, and Ganderbal districts were created. While Samba, Kishtwar, Ramban and Reasi were new districts in the Jammu region.
The BJP had argued that there was a need to create more districts from Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur districts.