Samba: JKPCC Vice President and former Minister Raman Bhalla Thursday as a part of Jan Jagran Abhiyan led strong protest against rise in fuel prices, inflation and faulty policies of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre claiming was causing immense distress to people. The protest was organised by DCC President Sanjeev Sharma and Babal Gupta . Prominent among those present on the occasion include JKPYC President Uday Bhanu Chib, Sewa Dal Vice President Vijay Sharma Babbi, OBC Department Chairmen Suresh Kr. Dogra, SC Cell Vice Chairman Karan Bhagat, Kamar Singh, Vinod Kumar, Tirth Ram, Adv. Lovely, Adv. Jaspreet Kour, Dharm Pal, Panch Sunil Kumar, Sudesh Kumar and Anita Devi District President PDP joined the Congress party in this programme. The protest rally passed through various Bazaars holding placards, flags and raising slogans against BJP Govt.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhalla said the economy was in a precarious state and unemployment was rising sharply, while the Centre. “From Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress governments built this country through various schemes, institutions, development works but the present Modi government has sold the railways, airports, ports, roads, public sector banks, insurance companies, power generation to its industrialist friends and enslaved the people of the country to the rich,” Bhalla claimed. BJP came to power on the back of false promises in 2014, and the Centre’s policies had led to rise in fuel and gas prices as well as inflation. He added that the goal is to increase public awareness against the run-away inflation and back breaking price rise which is “destroying livelihoods and adding to people’s woes caused by the destruction of the economy, deepening recession, highest ever unemployment rate, farm distress and escalating levels of poverty and hunger”, he said.The Jan Jagran Abhiyan will focus on these woes of people and raise voice against them. During the course of the ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’, Congress party workers will reach out to the maximum number of people across the country to strengthen the people’s voice against the unprecedented price rise in the CNG, cooking gas, diesel, petrol, cooking oil, pulses and other essential commodities.
The people of our country are suffering because of the policies of the Narendra Modi government. Our campaign is to highlight their concerns and hopefully jolt this government into action. The edible oil prices have doubled in the last one year. Prices of seasonal vegetables have gone up by 40-50% in the last one month alone. The cost of subsidised LPG cylinder has gone up by 50% to ₹900-1,000 in the last one year. Similarly, petrol and diesel prices have gone up by ₹34.38 and ₹24.38 to ₹103.97 and ₹86.67 per litre respectively in the last 18 months.
Bhalla alleged that the central government has completely failed to check inflation and the BJP has been completely ‘exposed’ after the formation of the government at the Centre. Targeting the central government, he said, “The people who are sitting in power at the center are working to destroy the institutions, they are doing the work of killing democracy. People of the country are seeing all this. I understand that the recent by-elections resultshave exposed wrong policies of Govt, you will see similar results wherever there are any elections in the whole country. He said that people are standing with us because of the welfare and development schemes of Congress government in J&K. He said, “BJP has mastery in rhetoric and raising only frivolous issues and completely ignored public welfare and development, he said.
Bhalla demanded immediate restoration of the statehood before announcing Assembly elections in the Jammu and Kashmir. This, he said, will be in the larger interest of the country, people, central government and democracy. He said if the elections are held before restoring full statehood, it will be grave injustice with people of J&K. We don’t want Delhi or Pondicherry like states where Lt Governor have all the powers, he said adding this is a border state where on one side there is China and other side Pakistan. We need a local government not Lt Governor Administration for which full statehood is necessary before elections.We want safeguard of our land and employment just like Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh (HP), where no outside can purchase land. He claimed the people of the Union Territory were not happy with Home Minister Amit Shah’s “roadmap” of holding the polls followed by statehood restoration.”These vague statements of the Union government are not acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir who feel they have been deprived of their status and identity and the same should be restored in the shape of full statehood,” Bhalla said while addressing protesters.He demanded immediate restoration of democratically elected government in J&K, while alleging that the Centre had “utterly failed” to tackle the situation there. This means that neither are Government of India, under whose direct jurisdiction is Jammu and Kashmir, able to understand the situation, nor can it tackle the situation,” Bhalla said.“We demand that full statehood be given to J&K immediately and there should be a government by democratic process and as per the Constitution of the country, and not by bypassing the Constitution,” he said.
Noting that the Centre made several promises about the UT’s development, he asked why employment rate there was the lowest and why the tourist footfall and capital inflow had decreased since it came under the direct control of the Centre. Selective murders are taking place because the Centre is unable to govern the state, Bhalla said. He said this was the peak season as far as economic activity in J&K was concerned and during this time, these kinds of events were happening and the govt is clueless. For the first time there are selective killings. It shows that Government of India has utterly failed to understand the ground realities in J&K,” he said. He said the Union Territory is in panic and terrorists are killing innocent people due to the government’s failed policy n Kashmir especially on security front.Recent killings are not only a reflection of the Modi government’s failure on the national security front but also expose their ‘nationalism’ facade, he said adding that terrorists are running rampant through the region and our people are paying for this government’s uneven policies with their lives.Bhalla claimed that whatever blunders done by BJP in J&K they did for political reasons and not for the betterment of people.Alleging that the BJP-led government has failed to deal with multiple challenges facing the country, Bhalla said that “aggressive posture of China and the unabated infiltrations by Pakistan” have resulted in a dramatic deterioration of the security of Jammu and Kashmir.
Bhalla said Congress is deeply distressed to note the multiple challenges that face the country and the all-round failure of the Modi government in dealing with these challenges . Former Minister said that BJP Government has failed to address political and developmental aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.He stated that people had enough dose of mis-governance in the J&K for last seven years, saying people have realized that they have to support Congress which can address their issues and fulfill their expectations.On the collapse of administrative apparatus with regard to development and ensuring utility services, Bhalla said that while various projects are starving for funds, the payments under MGNREGA remain unpaid. Similarly, the problems of daily rated workers and other segments of employees are yet to be sorted out. “The insensitive Government has failed in releasing salaries and wages to the employees and work force”, he said.Asserting the commitment of Congress to regional and religious unity in Jammu and Kashmir, Bhalla said that the party cadre was prepared for any sacrifice to nurture and sustain this glorious legacy. Bhalla slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party for “creating hysteria over discrimination for nearly six decades.” He said that when it came to reckoning, they “betrayed” the people soon after taking over the reins of the Government. He said that the “2014 euphoria is terribly missing with disillusionment growing among people due to policy paralysis of the BJP-partnered Government which is struggling to put its act together after plunging the state into unprecedented political and administrative crisis.
“ The people of Jammu displayed faith in BJP while giving them huge mandate from Jammu region with the hope that their grievances will be taken note of and discrimination with Jammu will end. However, BJP after forming Govt sidelined issues related to Jammu, Bhalla said. The people want development, employment opportunities, better infrastructure and other basic requirements like adequate water and power supply. Bhalla alleged that the BJP is befooling the people of this city with dreams of making Jammu a Smart City, for the past four years, mere discussions and deliberations won’t help in making Jammu a Smart City. Even the basic requirement of sanitation is suffering because of lack of Safai Karamcharies. There is no plan for solid waste management the whole process of waste collection is primitive and flawed, sewerage plant all exist on papers only