Kashmir-centric parties exploited STs for vote bank, BJP delivered justice: Jugal

BJP candidate, Jugal Kishore Sharma addressing a rally at Mahore on Wednesday.
BJP candidate, Jugal Kishore Sharma addressing a rally at Mahore on Wednesday.

Excelsior Correspondent

REASI, Apr 17: The BJP candidate from Jammu-Reasi Jugal Kishore Sharma today criticized the Kashmir-centric political parties for exploiting the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community solely for vote bank politics and said it was the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi-led Government at the Centre that finally delivered justice to them for the first time since independence.
Addressing a series of meetings in Arnas, Mahore and Salal areas of Reasi district, Sharma said the unfortunate reality is that the ST communities were never prioritized by Kashmir-centric politicians. “Instead, they were exploited for fleeting electoral gains, while their genuine concerns remained unaddressed,” he said.
The BJP leader said it was after the abrogation of Article 370 that the SC/ST/OBCs got their rights in Jammu and Kashmir which were denied to them for the last seven decades. The Central Government’s initiatives have aimed to address historical disparities, uplift socio-economic conditions, and ensure inclusive development for all sections of society, including the ST population,” he said.
Sharma said the BJP Government has actively engaged with ST leaders and representatives to ensure their voices are heard in the decision-making process. “By promoting participatory Governance and inclusive leadership, the BJP aims to empower ST communities to actively contribute to the development and governance of Jammu and Kashmir. Nine seats are reserved for STs in J&K Assembly to politically empower the marginalized community,” he said.
“It was the Prime Minister’s commitment that the ST quota of Gujjars and Bakkerwals would not be diluted while granting additional ST reservation to Pahari community people. Both communities are now enjoying the ST reservation without usurping each other’s quota. The justice has been delivered to all the sections of the society under the Prime Minister’s vision Sabka Saath Sabka Vishwas,” Sharma said.
After the abrogation of Article 370, the BJP Government at the Centre extended the Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, to Jammu and Kashmir as a people-friendly and progressive law to ensure rights to weaker sections living in forest areas, he said.
Later in the evening, he had an impressive road show in the Reasi main market where thousands of people including women greeted the BJP candidate while expressing their full faith in the pro-people policies being adopted by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.