Visit of 70 Ministers to J&K, a mere publicity stunt: Harsh Dev……

Ramnagar:   Referring to the proposed visit of around 70 Union Ministers to the UT of J&K all during the next thirty days, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman-JKNPP and former Minister questioned as to how such rollercoaster march of central Ministers was likely to benefit the people of the newly created UT. He said that the macabre drama appeared to have been conceptualized as a political fire cracker ahead of the elections by the BJP to whip up hysteria in its favour. He was addressing a huge public meeting in Ramnagar town today.

“It’s the last roll of the dice by saffron party ahead of elections. Having failed to live up to the expectations of the people of erstwhile State, the govt. was resorting to gimmicks and ministerial shows which would meet the same fate as its earlier drama of ministerial visits to J&K last year and its “Back to Village” programmes. It’s a publicity stunt, a pressure tactics, a holy hypocrisy and a survival mantra in the face of fast dissipating credibility of the BJP. The BJP wants to bring almost all of the central ministers to disseminate its political philosophy at the cost of public exchequer without analyzing the financial fallouts of such gigantic rollercoaster exercise upon a cash starved UT like J&K, regretted Singh.

Accusing the BJP leadership of indulging in theatrics and tantrums to woo the voters, Mr. Singh said that people of J&K could no longer be seduced by pomp and show of such ministerial functions. “No gimmickry could now beguile them. They were fast realizing that J&K was being used as electoral trump card by saffron party to brighten its prospects in elections across the country. Slogans like Art 370 were being used to promote the party in other parts of the country without addressing the genuine concerns of the people of J&K post Reorganization. The centre had failed to come up with a law so as to protect the jobs and lands of locals despite its loud pronouncements. The rural and remote areas were suffering immensely due to deprivation of basic amenities with none to respond to their shrill cries. The development had come to a grinding halt. And almost all announcements made by the central ministers during their sojourn to J&K last year had only proved as hoax without any follow up action taken to translate them into reality. The unemployed youth of J&K have been the worst sufferers with all recruitment having come to a standstill. The daily wagers, contractuals beside other sections of employees remained unpaid for months together with none to listen their woes. The liabilities under MGNREGA had swelled to over Rs. 1000 crore with govt failing to respond to repeated clamours of the village Panchayats for clearance of work done claims. With none to address the genuine concerns of the teeming millions, all tall talk of developmental trajectory in J&K had proved a farce. And now the visit of 70 Ministers would further add to financial burden of the UT which was already reeling under the pressure of ever burgeoning liabilities”, regretted Mr. Singh.

The NPP leader said that rather than visiting the UT to fulfill their urge for photogenic teleshoots, the BJP leadership might as well restore the civil liberties and other democratic rights of the people of J&K who are bearing the brunt of a dictatorial, authoritarian regime.

Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Mrs. Manju Singh, Rampaul Bhagat, Shiv Dev, Dev Singh, Ashri Devi, Des Raj, Moveen Bandey, Kasturi Lal, Ravi Kant, Kuldeep Singh besides others.