BJP regime’s development claims farce; I will ensure tourism, industrial promotion: Bhalla

Mohinder Verma

Raman Bhalla, Congress party candidate for Jammu-Reasi Parliamentary Constituency, is canvassing among the people with an agenda for installation of democratically elected Government in Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of full-fledged Statehood. Moreover, he is promising people that if elected to the Parliament he will make all out efforts to ensure tourism and industrial promotion in Jammu region, which according to him has received little attention of the BJP-led regime during the past 10 years.
In an exclusive interview to EXCELSIOR, Bhalla, who is directly pitted against BJP’s two times Member of Parliament Jugal Kishore Sharma and making efforts to prevent BJP candidate from making hat-trick, is of the opinion that BJP has done grave injustice with the people of Jammu by snatching Statehood and land and job guarantee for the locals.
“At that time, it was claimed by the BJP-led Government that this move will open flood-gates of employment opportunities, ensure massive development in every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir and bring revolution in the industrial and tourism sectors but the ground situation is totally contrary even after two terms of the Government”, said Bhalla, who is known for his good public rapport and always remain on the fore-front in fighting for the cause of the common masses.

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Stating that if elected to the Parliament he will vociferously raise the demand of restoration of Statehood and protection of all the rights of locals, the Congress candidate said, “the claims of BJP regarding creation of employment opportunities, holistic development and improving the living standards of people are confined to the official statements from day one only”.
Where is the much talked about industrial development in remote areas of Jammu? How the employment rate came down without establishment of new industrial units and without providing Government jobs? asked Bhalla, adding “tapping of tourism potential of unexplored areas is also confined to the papers only and hanging fate of Artificial Lake and Tawi Barrage is the testimony of how much serious attention was paid towards this revenue and employment generating sector by the BJP-led regime in Jammu region”.
“What to talk of exploring new tourism potential areas this Government has even failed to ensure proper facilities and maintenance of Surinsar-Mansar lakes and other already established tourist destinations of Jammu region”, he further said and assured that he will leave no stone unturned to ensure tapping of tourism potential of unexplored areas which fall in Jammu-Reasi Parliamentary constituency.
The Congress candidate further said, “many Union Ministers were invited during several rounds of Back to Village Programme and photo session was done claiming massive development in the rural areas but the fact is that many areas are still craving for proper road connectivity and improved water and power supply”, adding “if the BJP-led Government cannot provide these basic facilities to the people during past 10 years then they don’t have any right to continue in power”.
“Whatever projects, which the Government is claiming to have completed were started during the UPA regime. They are just misleading the people during the election. The power has gone into the heads of BJP leaders and they cannot be approached so easily by the common masses to project their grievances. On the other side, the Congress despite being in opposition is still being approached by large number of people to air their grievances”, he further said.
In response to a question, Raman Bhalla ruled out any impact of delimitation on his prospects in the Lok Sabha polls and said, “strong resentment is brewing among the people and they will definitely teach a lesson to the BJP this time and help Congress winning the Parliamentary constituency”.
About his priorities after winning the elections, he said that Congress party will make all out efforts to ensure that people who are living close to the borders and near the power projects get free electricity and Displaced Persons receive long pending genuine claims. Moreover, PMGSY Scheme will be modified so that even small hamlets become entitled for road connectivity.
“Above all restoration of Statehood with land and job guarantee to the locals, holding of Assembly elections as early as possible, restoration of Old Pension Scheme and generating employment opportunities will also be on the priority list of the Congress party. Moreover, Congress will ensure rail connectivity to Rajouri-Poonch areas and making chopper service to these hilly districts a regular feature”, Bhalla said.