Damage done to J&K in 5 months by BJP never caused by anyone in 70 yrs: Azad

Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ambika Soni addressing press conference in Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ambika Soni addressing press conference in Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

*Create atmosphere to hold early polls: Soni

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Jan 17: Former J&K Chief Minister and Leader of Opposision in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad today alleged that the damage done to J&K during last over five months has never been caused by anyone in past 70 years in the country.
Addressing media persons after conclusion of J&K Pradesh Congress Executive Committee meeting here this afternoon, Azad said, ” The people of J&K have suffered a worst kind of destruction and devastation during past over five months under BJP. Such a damage has never been caused by any one to J&K during last over 70 years of Independence which they have suffered due to the undemocratic, ‘unconstitutional and suppressive acts’ of BJP led Government at the Centre.”
“During these five months, the communication breakdown, putting so many people in jail for their no fault or any offence, bandhs for so many months, have caused extensive damage to Education, Health-care, Tourism, Handicrafts, Trade and Transport sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. These five months have witnessed a total erosion of democracy and Constitutional values in J&K. They (BJP) have gone for such a big and sensitive action without realizing its repercusions / ramifications and never took the Parliament or the Opposition in confidence,” Azad remarked.
“They must realize the fact that J&K and North East are very sensitives regions, located closer to the hostile neighbours and Pakistan and China. You can’t go experimenting evey time this way. These are vulnerable States and BJP leadership can’ t understand and rule these areas the way they are doing. Even after five births, they will not be able to understand their pulse and rule there,” Azad maintained.
Targetting local BJP leadership on their ‘self claim’ that people in Jammu were in favour of UT, Azad said, ” Jammu people were never in favour of UT, some groups had raised demand for separate State but they never favoured UT for Jammu or J&K.”
He challenged BJP leaders from Jammu to give such statements publically and get ready to face the public wrath. He said people of Jammu are boiling with anger and discontent. They have been befooled and duped every time by the BJP leadership from top to bottom. BJP must stop testing their patience. After losing statehood, the claims over land and jobs have also gone, despite assurances given by local BJP leaders, Azad regretted.
Referring to the visit of 36 BJP Ministers/ MPs to J&K during this week, Azad said they will again visit and meet selective peole and then mislead Parliament and the peole of this country over situation in Kashmir. This is also part of well organized `cover up’ exercise of Modi Govt over Kashmir, like others two, wherein foreign delegation of selective MPs and ambassadors was conducted in Kashmir, to mislead the world. These were `organized visits’ were conducted only to show just one side of the story by BJP Government, while the truth is something different.
“The BJP is projecting in the country and abroad that all is well in J&K. They must tell, if everything is al right then why so many political people were detained or kept in jails? What was the need of restrictions on internet and mobile phone services? Why opposition political parties are denied their democratic right of political activity? Why only and only BJP leaders / its ex-ministers or ex-legislators are allowed to carry out political activity? Why security cover and vehicles of protected opposition leaders like Cong, NC, PDP, NPP or others have been withdrawn? The BJP leadership perhaps have no reply of for these pointed questions,” Azad asserted.
He said Modi Government continued to harp on its diversionary tactics, the most recent being the dispatching of a large team of Central ministers to J&K in view of the growing resentment against the Government on various issues and to cover up the failures of the BJP Government on various fronts especially the economic crises facing Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad said those who restored the democracy in J& K by participating in elections despite militancy during mid- nineties , have been put behind bars and it is time for the Government to take everyone on board. Without involving local leadership, normalcy and political process is not possible in J&K, he added.
Azad parried a question on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s tweet hitting out at the NIA chief over the case of DySP Davinder Singh, saying he was not aware about it.
AICC general secretary, Ambika Soni said that there is no question of any Congress leader joining any group or front allegedly being created in the J&K UT. But it is true that some leaders are being terrorised and threatened to be dragged in cases or keeping their Assembly constituencies reserved. She maintained that Central Government must create congenial atmosphere for restoration of political process and conduct early Assembly elections in J&K.
PCC chief G A Mir said, “We are sure that unless the established mainstream political parties and other political entities are not allowed to function and perform their usual political activities, no meaningful and credible political process can take off and succeed.”
Meanwhile, Congress today sought immediate restoration of Statehood and Constitutional guarantees for the protection over lands and jobs and release of all political workers and removal of all sorts of restrictions and curbs upon them to create conducive atmosphere for paving way for holding of early assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
The JKPCC executive which met here today for the first time after abrogation of Article 370, sought immediate release of all political leaders and activists of Congress and other mainstream parties and lifting of all sorts of restrictions on the political activities. Unless it is done no political process can take off and succeed, to create conducive atmosphere for the holding of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. It sought immediate restoration of statehood status and adequate legal and constitutional guarantees to safeguard the rights over land and jobs and admissions to professional courses and higher portals of education to the local youth.
The meeting which was attended by AICC general secretary Incharge J&K Affairs Ambika Soni and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister of J&K Ghulam Nabi Azad and presided over by JKPCC president Ghulam Ahmed Mir, was attended by around 300 delegates from Kashmir and Jammu regions including senior functionaries of PCC, former ministers, ex-legislators, heads of frontal wings and DCC presidents besides Corporators and other members of the Executive Committee.
Today’s meeting followed detailed deliberations, the two AICC leaders had with top leaders of the party on Thursday over the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of special status and dividing and disbanding of The State into UT, apart from detentions of several Congress and important mainstream leaders and workers in the valley and most parts of the erstwhile state.
A number of participants from Kashmir Valley and Jammu region representing different districts and sections of society and wings of the party apprised the visiting leaders and participants about their experiences of the situation and the feelings of the people from different parts over current status. The deliberations mainly concentrated over the way forward to highlight the sentiments and aspirations of the people.
Most of the participants were critical of the unilateral actions and authoritarian attitude of the Government and the administration with regard to the democratic rights of the political workers of opposition parties and the restrictions imposed on them during the period, for no fault of theirs. They were also critical of the kind of restrictions still sought to be imposed on them to carry out usual political activities and withdrawal of required security cover to the Congress leaders to expose them to the designs of anti-national elements in this sensitive situation.
The participants in the meeting took a resolve to launch a movement throughout Jammu and Kashmir to highlight the aspirations of the people especially with regard to the restoration of Statehood status to Jammu and Kashmir besides constitutional safeguards to protect their rights over land and jobs etc.
A resolution was also adopted in the meeting highlighting these demands and various aspects of the situation.
Addressing the participants, Azad appreciated the party men for remaining committed and steady to the ideology of the party against all odds. He asked the PCC leadership to chalk out detailed programme to launch a movement at various levels to highlight the difficulties, sentiments and aspirations of the people especially the resolution adopted in the meeting. He also cautioned them about the efforts of BJP government to divert the attention of the people from real issues confronting the people.
AICC general secretary, Ambika Soni also lauded the efforts of the entire rank and file of the party who stood strong and united as well committed to the principles and programmes of the party and said that entire leadership is behind the party workers in Jammu and Kashmir in their resolve to fight for the rights of people.
Earlier, PCC chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir briefed the meeting on the sequence of events by the situation that emerged in the aftermath of the Central Government’s unilateral and undemocratic action of abrogation of special status. He read out the resolution in the meeting, which was unanimously adopted. Later, the visiting leaders left for Delhi after briefing the media persons.