SAMBA, Aug 18: Former Minister and Congress party district president, Samba, Manjit Singh, today demanded “separate statehood to Jammu division.”
The demand was raised during a public meeting in Vijaypur where former Minister appealed the Modi Government to respect the sentiments of Jammu people and accordingly, grant statehood to this region.
“Jammu people always stood by the nation and they should not be betrayed with Union Territory. Jammu division deserves to be a State, instead a Union Territory,” said Manjit Singh.
He said that even during British rule over India, Jammu and Kashmir State remained an independent State. “The honour of the nationalist people should be respected and hence, their demand for statehood be fulfilled with all rights reserved,” he added.
He demanded reservation in Government jobs, in educational institutions, and professional colleges for the Jammu division youth so that they can compete at national level.
Expressing concern over keeping Kashmir with Jammu as a Union Territory, the opposition leader demanded that Kashmir should be separated from Jammu so that Jammu may not suffer again.
Referring to restriction on opposition leaders, Manjit Singh said that it is very unfortunate that a crackdown has been launched on the opposition leaders especially against those belongs to Congress.
“Congress was always accused of imposing emergency in the country in 1975, but present-day situation is more than an emergency in Jammu and Kashmir where no voice is being heard by the Government and leaders are being put behind the bars,” said the former Minister.
BJP is claiming to have abolished special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress but it was only Congress which managed to erode most of the provisions of the Art 370 and directly implemented writ of Government of India, he said.
At one time, there was Sadar-e-Resayat and Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, but Congress eroded the position to bring J&K close to India. Similarly, many laws and acts were directly implemented in Jammu and Kashmir by the Congress Government, he added.
He said, “It is unfortunate that chief spokesperson of party, Ravinder Sharma was not allowed to speak to media inside Congress office, and he was abruptly detained by the police.
He demanded immediate release of the political leaders, who have been put under house arrest across Jammu division and Kashmir Valley especially of Congress party.