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Nothing for Jammu in Agenda of Alliance--III
Amit Shah's interview
3/30/2015 11:58:05 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Mar 30: BJP national president Amit Shah, who knows nothing about Jammu and Kashmir and who is being guided by equally ignorant persons, says that it is for the first time that the people of Jammu region got a government they deserved and that they got an equal share in the government. It is absolutely incorrect. It is a false claim. The fact is that the people of Jammu region have got only crumbs.
The BJP+ had 28 MLAs, 26 from Jammu, including one independent MLA from Udhampur, and two from the Valley belonging to the separatist People's Conference of Sajjad Lone. Its coalition partner PDP too had 28 MLAs, 25 from the Valley and three from Jammu region. It was the highest ever tally of the BJP in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and the people voted for the BJP because they had been given to understand by its top leadership during the election campaign that the BJP, if voted to power, would end discrimination with Jammu region and hand down a dispensation that would not only compensate the people of this region for the losses they had suffered between October 1947 and December 2014 at the hands of the successive Kashmiri-dominated and Valley-centric governments in the state as well as New Delhi, but also bring them closer to India by removing from the Indian Constitution those provisions which had driven the state away from the national mainstream and deprived them of those fundamental rights which the rest of the Indians exercised. But the CMP did the otherwise and the people of Jammu region were denied their due share in the government.
On the one hand, the CMP contemplates changes which further widen the already rather wide gulf between the state and New Delhi and has allowed the state government to guide India's foreign policy vis-à-vis Pakistan and, on the other hand, it basically focuses on Kashmir. As for Jammu region, it has been considered by the BJP a colony of Kashmir as before. It was not given any important portfolio. It was Kashmir which was given the portfolios of Home, Finance, Planning, Development, Employment, Law, Tourism, Education, Agriculture, Horticulture, Relief and Rehabilitation, Information, Science and Technology, to mention only a few. Besides, Jammu region was given inadequate representation in the Cabinet that takes policy decisions and decides the fate of the state and its people. Out of 17 berths in the Cabinet, Kashmir took away 11. Jammu region was left high and dry. It got only five berths in the Cabinet. These Jammu-based ministers in the Cabinet are in a microscopic minority. They cannot play any role in the Cabinet. They are left with no option but to play second fiddle. It is its coalition partner that is in the driving seat. In the earlier NC-Congress dispensation, the Congress, which had only 17 MLAs, had equal share in the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers, notwithstanding the fact that the NC had 28 MLAs.
The people of Jammu region had voted for the BJP in large numbers hoping that the Chief Minister of the state this time would from Jammu region. Their hope had stemmed from the statements issued from time to time by top BJP leaders, both national and local. They had also been given to understand that there would be rotational chief ministership in case the elections threw up a hung assembly. But nothing of this sort has happened. There is no rotational chief ministership. In other words, the highest executive office of the state has become the sole preserve of Kashmir like before. The fact of the matter is that the people of Jammu region have been accusing the BJP of "playing fraud with them and cheating them" and "bartering their interests in its desperate bid to pander to Kashmiris". "The BJP has played mischief with them. The BJP has cheated them. The BJP has abused the Jammu's mandate. The BJP has sold out their interests and the national interest for the sake of power. We have committed a mistake by reposing faith in the BJP. We are paying the price for committing that mistake," almost every concerned citizen in Jammu region has been saying. (To be continued)
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