BJP Govt snatched jobs from locals, offered contracts to outsiders: Omar

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah addressing public meeting at Thannamandi in Rajouri on Tuesday.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah addressing public meeting at Thannamandi in Rajouri on Tuesday.

Gopal Sharma
RAJOURI, May 17: Former Chief Minister and J&K National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah today said that BJP Government snatched jobs and lands of the locals and offered contracts of various development projects to the outsiders, causing severe setback to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a public meeting at Thannamandi in Rajouri today, Omar said during the abrogation of Article 370, BJP leaders made tall promises with the people of Jammu and Kashmir but now the people here are feeling cheated. “They are frustrated lot now,” he added.
Omar said today the jobs of the local educated unemployed youth have been “snatched” by the outsiders. The lands of the small farmers and others are being snatched on different pretexts. The tall claims of massive industrialization and development have fallen flat. Most of the development projects/ works are being allotted to the people from outside J&K while our contractors have been made to sit idle.
“Many local contractors have lost their livelihood and even the unemployed engineers who were working through Self Help Groups for earning a dignified livelihood have been made jobless. Even the minor mineral and liquor contracts have been snatched from the locals and offered to the people from outside J&K,” Omar regretted.
The NC leader said every one, whether student, unemployed youth, trader, Govt employee, woman folk or a retiree, is worried and frustrated. The people are facing “tax terrorism.” electricity, water tax, smart meters have “terrorized” the public. They are unable to provide adequate supply of water and power, but imposing severe power cuts and providing irregular supply of water. House tax, Property tax and many others taxes, or may be ‘air tax’, are in the pipeline. The people are fed up with the system provided by this regime. They are looking for the alternatives. People will teach them a lesson in coming days, he claimed.
Omar further said that the greatest strength of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is unity of the people. Cautioning people against the efforts aimed to draw a wedge between Kashmiris, Gujjars and Paharis, he said, “Diversity J&K is tremendous, deep inside our hearts beat together. There are certain common links and unifying bonds that keep varied sections of our society together. All of us are worried for our identity, our culture and our dignity.” He added, “Multi ethnic unity in Pir Panjal has been an eye sore to anti- J&K forces. ”
“At present also, efforts are underway to create a wedge between Gujjars, Paharis and Kashmiris, particularly in Pir Panjal. I’m telling you that coming together is the first step towards having our constitutional rights, our dignity restored. NC is spearheading a peaceful, democratic and constitutional struggle for the restoration of rights of varied sections of J&K, Ladakh. The best people can do is not allow anyone to weaken our struggle.”
Speaking against the rising intolerance among Govt circles against a single critical word in the press he said, “Trend of rolling out criminal charges against journalists and muzzling their voice has become an everyday affair.”
Unemployment levels, Omar said, are on rise in Jammu and Kashmir as educated youth struggle with neglect and lack of job-creation policy. The situation he said is more depressing in Pir Panjal, where the local employability scenario had received a major hit due to outsourcing of jobs and contracts.
Prominent among those who spoke at Thanna Mandi meeting included, Ali Mohd Sagar, Mian Altaf Ahmed, Javed Rana, Tanvir Sadiq, Ratan Lal Gupta, Aijaz Jan, Abdul Gani Teli, Vijay Lochan and Mudassir Shahmiri.
Earlier, Omar Abdullah paid obeisance at Ziyarat Sharief Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah, Shahdara Sharief. Joined by party leaders, he prayed for the wellbeing of the people.