Cong created hurdles in development projects, denied distt status to Billawar: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh addressing a massive public rally in Billawar on Sunday.
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh addressing a massive public rally in Billawar on Sunday.

‘Modi took keen interest in making J&K prosperous’

Avtar Bhat
BILLAWAR, Apr 7: Hitting out at Congress, Union Minister and BJP candidate for Udhampur- Kathua- Doda Lok Sabha constituency Dr Jitendra Singh today alleged that the party had sabotaged development projects in J&K mostly in Jammu region during its rule while Modi Government launched many development projects including construction of roads, highways, power projects etc soon after taking over in 2014.

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Addressing a massive public meeting here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said while Congress stalled the developmental projects in J&K for their vested interests, the Modi Government planned the new projects to take the UT on the path of progress and prosperity.

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Dr Jitendra Singh said during Vajpayee tenure National Highway widening projects were launched in entire country but the Congress which was in power in J&K and later at Centre sabotaged widening of NH in J&K with the result people of the UT were subjected to many hardships.
He said the Congress party stalled these projects for their personal pecuniary interests. He said the Shahpur Kandi which could prove a game changer project for Kandi belt of Kathua and Samba districts including Billawar was sabotaged for 40 long years and it was only PM Modi whose Government took keen interest in starting work on this project by brining the two riparian states of J&K and Punjab on negotiating table and getting the agreement signed.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the Rattle Power Project as well as road projects were stalled by Congress as they wanted that the people of J&K should remain backward to serve their interests of vote bank and exploitation.
He said Congress deliberately denied district status to Billawar also while some places in Kashmir with smaller area and population were given district status and Jammu region was subjected to discrimination.
Not only this, the same Congress also cancelled the Dogra Certificate and deprived youth of this belt from the option of getting livelihood as per their inherent aptitude and capacities, Dr Jitendra Singh said. The same Congress leaders are today shedding crocodile tears for Dogras, he said, adding that the memory of Dogras is not so short as to have forgotten what the Congress did to them and their revered Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.
Dr Jitendra Singh said what could be grave injustice done with the people of Jammu that Congress denied the reservation benefits to people living along International Border right from Kathua to Akhnoor while the same rights were granted to people living on Line of Control (LoC). This injustice with the IB people was done deliberately and the Congress leaders never raised their voice against this anomaly, he added.
The Minister said it was again Narendra Modi Government which has done away with this greatest anomaly and injustice after the issue was brought in PM’s notice by local BJP representatives from J&K.
He said likewise Billawar was denied hill district status while BJP had always been in favour of a separate hill district status for Billawar even when it was in the opposition.
Dr Jitendra Singh said in the BJP’s organisational structure, a separate hill district comprising of Billawar, Basohli and Bani regions was carved out nearly two decades back and since then in the BJP hierarchy there is a separate district president for Kathua and a separate district president for the hill district of Billawar region.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that when the District Reorganisation Committee was constituted under the Congress led coalition Government, BJP as opposition party had reiterated this demand but the ruling Congress Government carved out ten districts each for Jammu province and Kashmir province without following any laid down or transparent parameters. While in the Kashmir Valley even small districts were further divided into two or three smaller districts, in the Jammu province the visibly large district of Kathua was allowed to remain the same and BJP’s demand for a separate hill district was ignored, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh accused the Congress and its allies of following a policy of appeasement and regional discrimination, as a result of which the district status for Billawar was deliberately denied. He said it is an irony that for several years, Congress MLAs elected from this region were part of the Government as State Ministers but they too did not take up this cause because they were more concerned about securing their ministerial berths by keeping their masters in good humour.
In the last 10 years after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh said, there has been a continuous attempt to make up for the lapses of the past and to ensure equitable development of all the regions. As a result of this, he said, for the first time after independence today “we have a network of roads in the region and one can drive down from Jammu to Billawar in just about two and half hour which was unimaginable before 2014.”
As for the popular demand for Bala Sundri tunnel, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this too was ignored by the earlier governments. Only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came, this project got approved but was delayed for certain reasons and now it would be taken by the National Highway Authority of India.
Former Dy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, senior BJP leader Satish Sharma, DDC Member Narain Dutt Tripathy, Neeru Rajput, Vikram Singh, BJP president Darshan Singh, Prem Aziz, Romy Khajuria,Jangbir Singh, Inderjit Samyal, Sanjit Khajuria, Kuldip Abrol, Basotra and Chhotu Khajuria, among others participated in the rally.