Ex-MLAs’ Report Card Constituency: Vijaypur Chander Prakash Ganga (BJP)
Sanjeev K. Sharma
VIJAYPUR: Resentful residents of Vijaypur Assembly constituency felt dejected as far as the working of former MLA of Vijaypur Assembly constituency, Chander Prakash Ganga of the BJP is concerned.
Retired defence and security forces personnel say, they were ‘betrayed on the nationalist slogans’ while others maintained no new developments but only facelift of the previous works were done whereas untold stories of neglect were uttered by the border firing victims.
Contrary to this, Ganga claimed sky-big developments.
Vijaypur is a constituency dominated by the people having defence and other security force background (retired and serving personnel).
While a big section of the public here is engaged in agricultural activities and other jobs, another significant number is unemployed.
There is an Industrial Estate at Bari Brahmana and soon Central University of Jammu will also complete its campus here while a long strip of hot Indo-Pak Border, which mostly remains in news, is also a part of this constituency.
An interaction with people from different background in this area brought to fore that victims of border firing got compensation for the loss of cattle but their damaged houses and cattle sheds are yet to be compensated and the former MLA, who also served as Cabinet Minister never bothered to do anything in this regard.
Jadera-a village at Indo-Pak border was among such worst affected hamlets that saw bloodshed with killing of humans and animals by the belligerent Pak shelling latest in the year 2016.
Madhu Bala, 38-an ASHA worker from Jadera informed that she lost five of her cows in Pakistan firing apart from massive damage to her house and cattle shed and injuries to her kids.
“We were given compensation for the loss of cattle but we are eagerly waiting for the promised compensation for damaged cattle shed and our house,” she said.
Remembering terror of heavy mortar shells and Pak firing which she witnessed along with her little kids, she narrated the ordeal saying, “I saw my kids bleeding and crying for help and I was confused about what to do and what not to do.”
A shell had hit her house in 2016 causing devastation.
She further informed that a girl of her village was killed in that shelling and many others injured.
She continued to say, now too, the village lives in constant fear as firing and shelling can start anytime catching them unprepared.
On bunkers made by the authorities she said that sometimes even there is no time to move to bunkers amidst the heavy shelling and voiced for promised plots.
“A fake election promise was made with us by Ganga that five marla plots will be given to us at safer places,” she rued.
Similar were the views of Bimla, 45, a housewife at village Kesso who too narrated the ordeal she suffered in Pak shelling two years back.
Bimla said that four members of her family were badly injured in the Pak shelling which also claimed lives of her cattle apart from massive damage to her house.
“None visited us while we remained at Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital Jammu. The DC gave us Rs 5000 while we used to hire a special vehicle to move to the GMC Hospital as our condition was very critical due to fracture in legs,” she informed.
Similar were the views of people from other firing and shelling victims of border villages like Kamore, Langore, Camp, Naryana, Govindgarh etc where too every tongue talked about the neglect and broken promises by the former MLA.
Somam Kundal, 19, a college girl from village Kesso pointed to a bad road to reach her village to say that the public of her village is not satisfied with the working of former MLA.
Another youth joined her saying that Ganga never visited them after win while the bad road continued to add to their miseries.
Mani Ram-a shopkeeper at Ramgarh also narrated apathy by the former MLA saying: “After becoming MLA Ganga only returned for next campaigning during the Local Bodies elections held recently.”
He further said that Ganga not even bothered to pay thanks after winning elections and the public is now feeling cheated in his hands.
At Gurah Slathia, Varinder Singh, 49, an accountant said that no development has taken place in his area since the day Ganga became MLA.
“Now none will vote him (Ganga) as he has done nothing here,” he maintained.
Rajinder Pura (Bagoona) is a village named after Brigadier Rajinder Singh popularly known as saviour of Kashmir. This war hero had stopped invasion by Pakistan army and tribals for three days in October 1947 and then rendered supreme sacrifice.
Presently youth of this village feel proud to join army.
Mahinder Nath, 59-an ex-serviceman of army in this village said the former MLA did no particular work in the village Rajinder Pura.
“This is a model village and as per the norms of that nothing special has been done here,” Nath said showering all praises for central government and PM Modi but showed resentment against former MLA Ganga.
“This is a Fouji village and nothing in interest of Foujis was done here. The former MLA was our elected representative and we expected him to take the issues of retired army-men with government in a proper way but he failed to do so albeit his party was in government both at Centre and State,” he said adding that in other States government gives Rs 20-30 lakh to the families of army martyrs while in J&K not even a penny is paid in such cases.
“Even the retired army men are given good jobs in other States while nothing like that is here and the former MLA is only responsible for that as he never bothered to do something for the retired and serving defence personnel of his Constituency,” he further said adding that similar was the case of his (Ganga’s) predecessor too.
“These people just use us. My three children are unemployed. Had I not having pension from army, we would have been facing starvation,” he said.
Expressing similar views at Vijaypur, S. Jarnail Singh, 38-a Naik in army said that he was not satisfied with the way former MLA worked for the interests of army people of his Constituency.
“This Constituency is dominated by army people. Almost each family has either some retired army man or someone working in the army,” he said pointing towards a dilapidated road and a canal outside his house.
“See the condition of this road and the canal with no parapet to prevent accidents at night,” he said adding that banks of the canal are being slowly eroded and this is putting a threat of landslide for adjoining residents.
At Koulpur, S. Gurmail Singh, 68-a retired BSF personnel pointed to a recently constructed road to shower all praises for the former MLA but when asked about the welfare of retired security force personnel of the Constituency he slipped to sadness.
“He never even bothered to take up the issue though during campaigning he had promised for that and raised nationalist slogans where we too took him as our well wisher,” he said.
“We are given a pension half to that of a retired army-man in same rank though we all work for nation in tough conditions,” the retired BSF man said.
“His party was in power at Centre and in State too. He would have easily forwarded our issues through his government in State to the Union ministry concerned as a big vote in his Constituency was ours but he never did so and took us casually,” Singh said referring to the former MLA.
Babita, 40-a housewife at village Dug-gateway to the renowned shrine of Baba Chamliyal Ji, too narrated lack of development and expressed dissatisfaction with the working of the former MLA.
When contacted, the former the MLA, C.P Ganga claimed that for the first time J&K State is giving Rs 5 lakh to dependants of defence and security forces martyrs of this State.
On issue of border firing victims he said that for cattle killed in firing good compensation is being given for the first time.
Ganga avoided query on lack of developments at model village Bagoona which was declared as model village.
He claimed that he worked strictly to bring the corruption to zero and added that on Swankha-Chamliyal road sanctioned at the cost of Rs 8 crore is yet to start as lackadaisical approach by certain elements.
On unemployment, he said that it is a bitter truth that “our boys want white collar jobs and are not ready for small jobs in the industry and similar is the case of our farmers who use either machines or labourers for agriculture tasks to avoid doing things themselves.”
On five marla plots for border people, Ganga said that there was no such commitment by the government but it was a public demand.
“Yet we gave them bunkers @ Rs. 2.5 lakh,” he informed.
He further said that giving plots to border people may vacate border making it an easy entry for infiltrators from Pak.
However, Ganga counted infrastructure developments mentioning about roads of Raya Schunai, Swankha, small stretch at Vijaypur-Chamliyal road and sanction of two government degree colleges.
He claimed that villages in his Constituency are better than cities.
He further claimed that he remained readily available to his public.
“Opposition has to say something or the other to justify its opposition,” he said adding that two battalions for border youths have also been sanctioned by the Government of India by his efforts.
Ganga also claimed that he has got ‘Goondagardi’ eliminated from his Constituency as earlier there were many gangs with 100s of men involved in grabbing lands and accomplishing drug trade.