Dynastic parties looted resources of J&K for years together: Thakur

‘No one involved in Roshni scam will be spared’

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Nov 30: Making a scathing attack on Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs and incharge District Development Committee (DDC) elections J&K, Anurag Thakur today said that the dynastic parties of Kashmir have joined hands for restoration of controversial Articles 370 and 35 -A so that their corrupt practices should continue and Indian Corruption Act should not be implemented in J&K.
In an exclusive interview to Excelsior, the Union Minister said that Government will take probe in Roshni scandal to its logical conclusion as no one can stop it now and save the offenders how influential they may be. “The land grabbed by the politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats will be retrieved and encroachers of State land as well as forest land will be punished under law”, he added.
Thakur, while targeting former Chief Minister and chairman, PAGD, Dr Farooq Abdullah alleged that former Chief Minister and other members of Gupkar Alliance besides, ex-chairman of J&K Bank and other politicians have constructed mansions in Dr Abdullah’s neighborhood and they should vacate the land immediately.
Outrightly rejecting that the land was allotted to the people under the law passed by the then State Legislature, Thakur said that they have systematically and under a conspiracy looted the resources of J&K. Former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah took the first benefit of the law and asked to name the NC -and PDP leaders who did not take the benefit of this law which was also described Unconstitutional and illegal by the J&K High Court, he added.
“They (leaders of Gupkar Alliance) ruled J&K for 70 long years, kept the people in darkness , made false promises and looted the resources to create fortunes for themselves”, he said, adding their designs were frustrated by BJP and now they are in great desperation as they see their defeat is imminent in the BDC elections.
“The high voter turnout is also cause of their frustration as they are unable to do rigging which had been their past practice as earlier they were manipulating the elections to ensure their victory”, Thakur said, adding now they are in total grief and shock .
Lashing out at the politicians involved in land grabbing , the Union Minister said that on one hand there is expansionist China and Pakistan who want to grab the land and on other hand some leaders within also want to grab the land. This is the reason that these leaders also supported the terror to create assets for themselves and send their children abroad for education at the cost of common masses of the J&K.
Not absolving the Congress, he said, they are part of the game plan as Congress leaders’ names have also figured among land grabbers. He said had the previous Governments been sincere in framing the Roshni Act then the poor and landless people should have been given preference in allotment of land and not those belonging to affluent and influential families.
Assuring the people of J&K that BJP will provide youth a chance to become public representatives as well as electing good representatives in Panchayat and DDC elections, Thakur said Gupkar Alliance is dividing the regions and BJP is uniting the regions. “BJP is working to save J&K from looters and land grabbers”, he added.
He said in the first phase of DDC elections, the separatist thinking, Gupkar Alliance and their supporters across the border were given a setback.
In response to a question that opposition parties accuse BJP of bringing the developmental process to a grinding halt in J&K during its rule, the Union Minister said those who were never interested in development of erstwhile State are suffering from a myopia and they can’t see the developmental projects launched by Narendra Modi Government in both the UTs because of their corrupt mindset. He said two Central Universities campuses, two AIIMS, IIT, IIM, new medical Colleges, Dental Colleges, network of roads, bridges etc were sanctioned for J&K and some of the projects are functioning while others are under execution.
Thakur said Modi Government is committed to provide electricity and water to every household, pacca houses to poor and houseless. “We gave free ration to people during time of natural calamities, direct transfer of Rs 70,000 crore in accounts of people. But the opponents can’t see that because they only look towards Pakistan and China,” he added.
Over the regularization of daily and casual laborers working in various Government offices in J&K over the decades, the Union Minister said that why those who engaged them failed to regularise them during their rule. “They should have done it earlier instead of keeping their issue lingering for decades. However, the Lt Governor’s administration has assured to regularise them in phased manner”, he added.
Maintaining that BJP and GoI are committed to bright future of J&K youth, Thakur said “we have promised 70,000 Government jobs with 100 percent reservation to local youth out of which 18,000 jobs will be given in first phase. Besides, the private investment will be encouraged in the UT.”
He said there was an enthusiasm among the investors to make investment in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 but the process has slowed down due to COVID pandemic. In response to another question, he said that the local youth will be given preference in power projects besides the allotment of small contracts. However, only technical experts will be from outside. Even the J&K youth are also being trained under skill development for this purpose, he added.
Thakur, while allaying fears of people, said the BJP Government is committed to equal development of all three regions of erstwhile State and earlier the funds were diverted to Kashmir and few families were taking the benefit of the same. He, however, maintained that first priority of the Government is restoration of peace in Kashmir as people outside don’t know that problem is in a small part of J&K. They consider that entire J&K is disturbed, he added.
He said tourism in Jammu region will be also given a boost and new projects for UT have been sanctioned. He said that if BJP wins, all these projects will be executed through newly elected DDC members. The Central Government has no problem in funding the new projects to be executed after the constitution of three tier Panchayati system in J&K.
Thakur also maintained that Modi Government is working for basic change in people’s mindset who were misled for over the years by the ruling parties for their vested interests.