JAMMU, Sept 28: “Despite upholding national sentiment and welcoming the abrogation of Article 370, the Jammu region continued to receive recurrent dozes of discrimination at the hands of Central Govt; whereas, Kashmir region despite its defiant posturing and hate India campaign continues to get doles and incentives,” former minister and NPP president, Harshdev Singh said.
Pointing towards a slew of measures announced by the Centre after scrapping of the special status, Harshdev said that almost all of them related to Kashmir without even mentioning the name of Jammu region. Referring to the recent visit of high level team of Union Human Resource Ministry to Valley, Singh said that it merely talked of expansion of educational facilities in Kashmir region including schools, colleges, skill development centres and professional institutes. The said team failed to even visit Jammu thereby drawing flak from educationists of the region, divulged Singh.
“Likewise, another team of Minority Affairs Ministry led by its Secretary held a two days tour of the valley to identify the areas of the implementation of Centrally sponsored projects. The team which was accompanied by top officers of Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK), National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) besides Central Wakf Council (CWC) discussed and explored the possibilities of “socio-economic development projects, provision of basic amenities and other measures” in the region, Harshdev said.
In the same way, he pointed out that the Govt has announced a package of Rs 28 crore for development of Srinagar on modern lines without considering the claims of Jammu for identical package. It further announced increase of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and other doles for Kashmir orchardists only besides constitution of a committee headed by Chief Secretary to address their issues without bothering for the concerns of Jammu farmers and fruit growers, Singh added.
And now, he said, there were reports of a special recruitment drive for Kashmir youth as Special Police Officers (SPOs) to the utter neglect of Jammu region youth who were being silenced by chanting the overriding mantra of national interest.
Accusing the Centre of persisting with its policy of appeasement of a highly mollycoddled and pampered Kashmir even after scrapping Article 370, Harshdev Singh cautioned it to refrain from taking Jammu region for granted.