DPAP agenda is development, double –shift work culture: Saroori

Nishikant Khajuria
Ghulam Mohd Saroori, candidate of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) for the Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary Constituency, which is going to polls on April 19, is canvassing among people with an agenda for immediate restoration of full-fledged Statehood to J&K, land and job security for the locals and Assembly polls for installation of a popular Government here as the BJP-led Central regime, he said, not only snatched identity of erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir State , but also paralyzed developmental activities besides imposing ‘Babu Raj’ here.

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In an exclusive interview with the Excelsior, Saroori also lashed out Omar Abdullah for allegedly misleading people on restoration of Article 370 and accused National Conference of supporting a person who had sided with ‘rapists’.
“No new developmental works have been done in the last 10 years, except completing the projects already approved during Congress regime and claiming credit for the same through advertisements while rural roads are in shambles and no employment has been generated with the result our youth are in frustration and becoming victims of drugs,” he said and lamented that there was no one in the Government to listen to public grievances.
Reiterating his party’s stand for immediate restoration of full-fledged Statehood to Jammu & Kashmir and installation of a popular Government for ending Babu Raj here, Saroori said that DPAP would ensure land and job guarantee for the locals, restore small pieces of land to people by reviving Roshni Act, develop tourist destinations in each Assembly constituency, etc.
“We are contesting the election with an agenda for development and double –shift work culture unlike BJP, which is trying to sail through polarization on the basis religion,” he said.
The DPAP candidate also claimed that his party would provide free electricity to poor, 50 kg ration, kerosene oil and sugar to each family through public distribution system, adequate teaching staff in Government schools, regular payment of wages, etc. “The mess under present regime can be gauged from the fact that in Bhalesa, a single person is heading five Government schools and office of Zonal Education Officer,” he added.
In response to a query, the DPAP leader said that after Supreme Court ruling, raking up the issue of Article 370 and demanding its restoration is nothing but misleading people, which the National Conference and its leader Omar Abdullah were doing.
“We can demand erstwhile Jammu Kashmir and special powers whereas NC is still misleading people in the name of Pakistani salt and referendum,” he said and alleged that in the process of looking for crutches, Omar Abdullah has stooped so low that he is extending support to a person, who had openly sided with rapists.
Claiming massive response during the ongoing election campaign in support of his candidature, particularly in the Chenab Valley region, Saroori, however, lamented that they did not get sufficient time for canvassing. “Jammu Lok Sabha constituency should have gone for polls in first phase and Udhampur-Doda in the second phase because of geographical conditions,” he opined.
Saroori, a former Minister who represented Inderwal Assembly constituency of Kishtwar district thrice since 2002, said that Lok Sabha elections would also help DPAP to identify the pockets of prospects in the Assembly polls. He also ruled out any impact of delimitation and exclusion of Reasi district from Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary constituency on his prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.
It may be mentioned here that G M Saroori was affiliated with Indian National Congress till August 2022 when he quit the party and followed his political godfather Ghulam Nabi Azad. He was the Minister of State for Tourism, Forest, School Education, Social Welfare and Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution under then State Government of Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2008. He was appointed as the Minister for Roads & Buildings and Mechanical Engineering under the coalition Government of National Conference and Congress, led by Omar Abdullah in July 2009. Even as he was dismissed from the Ministry following a scandal involving the alleged use of an impersonator appearing on his daughter’s behalf in an examination, he was later cleared of all charges by the Central Bureau of Investigation. He was conferred the Best Legislator Award for the year 2014—15. Saroori quit the Congress along with several other senior leaders in August 2022 after the resignation of Ghulam Nabi Azad from the party and joined the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), which has given him mandate for the Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary Constituency, going to polls on April 19.