MLAs allege discrimination with Jammu region, stage walk-out

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Oct 5: The Jammu-based opposition party MLAs today staged a walkout from the Legislative Assembly to protest the discrimination against Jammu region in the sanction of posts in the Higher Education Department.
National Panthers’ Party (NPP) MLA  Balwant Mankotia raised the issue of discrimination against Jammu region during the Question Hour in the sanctioning of posts in the Higher Education Department.
The MLA claimed that only 400 posts were sanctioned for Jammu region out of the total 1,129 posts of Assistant professors sanctioned for the State in the Higher Education Department. Mankotia demanded parity between the Valley and Jammu region.
However, Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone refused to entertain the plea saying the bogey of discrimination is raised from everywhere.
Mankotia was joined by his party colleagues Harshdev Singh, Yashpaul Kundal, BJP MLAs Ashok Khajuria, Jugal Kishore and independent MLA Ashwani Sharma in raising slogans against discrimination with Jammu region. They walked out of the Assembly in protest.
Earlier as soon as the session started this morning, NPP MLA Harshdev Singh raised the issue of discrimination against Jammu region. He said that 500 students from Kashmir region were sent for free professional courses recently to outside colleges and not a single from Jammu and Ladakh regions was sent for similar courses under the same scheme. The MLA said that prior to this, 299 students were sent under the same scheme from Kashmir region while those from Jammu and Ladakh regions were left out.
The MLA said that 4000 appointment orders were handed over to the unemployed youth of Kashmir region under Himayat project by Union Minister Jai Ram Ramesh recently while no such orders were given to youth in Jammu.
He  said that he has no objection against sending students for free professional courses and appointments of Kashmir youth under Himayat but pressed for equal share to other regions.
Singh said that sad part of the story is that not a single Minister from Jammu raised the issue with the Government. He described it as condemnable, discriminatory and lodged a strong protest over it.
While replying to Singh’s statement, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul said that among the 500 students sent for free professional courses from Kashmir included students from Kishtwar and Doda districts of Jammu region and ruled out discrimination.
The NPP MLA said that all the 3 regions have to grow simultaneously and said there should be no discrimination.

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