Jammu’s identity in danger post Aug 5, will suffer more than Kashmir: Farooq

NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah addresses women workers of NC at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhawan in Jammu on Monday. — Excelsior/Rakesh
NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah addresses women workers of NC at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhawan in Jammu on Monday. — Excelsior/Rakesh

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Mar 8: Attacking BJP for scrapping of J&K’s special status, National Conference President and Member of Parliament, Dr Farooq Abdullah today warned that Jammu would suffer more than Kashmir post August 5, 2019.
“You (Jammu people) are at more risk of losing jobs and land. Kashmir has no such threat because they (outsiders) will fear to come there,” he said while addressing a function to mark the International Women’s Day at the NC headquarters, here today.

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Farooq alleged that all the promises made to people of Jammu Kashmir had fallen flat and instead of development, people were even made to lose whatever they already had. “They promised of a new dawn, development and prosperity… Where is the development? What happened to the promised jobs?” he asked.
Reiterating that it was Maharaja Hari Singh who had enacted this law in 1927 to protect the Dogra culture, the NC President claimed that Jammu’s identity was in great danger following abrogation of Article 370.
“Instead of realizing the threat, Jammu people were beating the drums and distributing sweets when this Special Status was abolished. And when we forewarned you about the happening, nobody paid any heed at that time and we were dubbed as Pakistani,” he said.
“When the elections come, we are dubbed as Pakistanis despite the fact that we have spent ourselves to keep the Indian flag high and thousands of our workers and leaders have sacrificed their lives. However, when the elections are over, we become Indians…I am surprised,” he added.
The NC President also pooh-poohed the BJP resolve to form next Government in Jammu Kashmir. “They (BJP) are making noises that we are coming (to power). They will never come,” he said in apparent reference to J&K BJP’s resolution, adopted at a two-day working committee meeting in Katra to form the next Government in the Union Territory of its own whenever the Assembly elections are held.
“They say we will form the (next) Government. I will see how it is going to happen. Will they come from the sky? We are standing in their way and how you will remove us. The National Conference has a history of sacrifice and lives in the hearts of the people,” Farooq Abdullah said.
The NC chief said the rise in prices of fuel and essential commodities had broken the backbone of the common people. He claimed that the poverty had taken over the people in Jammu and Kashmir, and they were finding it very difficult to meet their daily needs.
“They (Centre) promised Rs 80,000 crore (PM development package) during Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s tenure but Mehbooba (Mufti) says only Rs 10,000 crore were given. Now they are talking about Rs 28,000 crore, but nothing has changed on the ground and it’s evident from the condition of the roads, scarcity of water and non-availability of electricity” he said.
He also slammed the BJP over the delay in the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament despite enjoying a majority. “The BJP is enjoying majority in the Parliament, and had passed Farm Bills and that of revocation of Article 370 even as the people were not in their favour. Why are they not passing this Women Reservation Bill when the entire country wants it?” he asked.
Farooq Abdullah surprised the well-attended gathering by seating himself on the floor instead of taking a chair at the dais as a mark of respect for the women on the occasion.