Sham bats for Regional Council to Jammu

Excelsior Correspondent

A memento being presented during a function in connection with Coronation Day of Maharaja Gulab Singh.
A memento being presented during a function in connection with Coronation Day of Maharaja Gulab Singh.

JAMMU, June 17:  Strongly advocating for regional councils to end discrimination with Jammu, the senior Congress leader and Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham Lal Sharma today asked the Bhartiya Janata Party to clear its stand on the issue.
“Discrimination will not stop unless and until Jammu gets a Regional Council and similar Sub-Regional Councils are constituted for Rajouri-Poonch, Chenab Valley and Pahari Speaking areas of Kashmir,” he said while addressing a celebration function in connection with 193rd Coronation Day of Maharaja Gulab Singh at Jeo Pota, Akhnoor, here today.
He stressed that people of Jammu should have to rise above the party politics for the common cause, which was not impossible to achieve if a united struggle is waged for the same.
At the same time, the Congress leader also took on State BJP for ignoring the cause of Jammu and alleged that instead of concentrating on real issues confronting the people of this region, the saffron party was raising contentious issues like Article 370 and Common Civil Code.
“Your senior leaders go to Leh and ask for Union Territory status for that region but they never raise voice for a Regional Council to Jammu. You must clear the party stand over the issue,” he told Jugal Kishore, the BJP State president and newly elected Member of Parliament from Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary constituency, who was also present on the occasion.
Sham Lal also grilled Modi-led NDA Government at Centre for only talking of return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley but not including the issue of refugees in President Address.
“You (BJP Government) are addressing only one section (KPs) and ignoring the others (PoK and West Pak refugees).  We will not allow you to give such step motherly treatment to the displaced community,” he said.
Paying tributes to Maharaja Gulab Singh, Sham said that contribution of Maharaja for welfare and development of the State would be recognized and remembered by generations to come. He described him as a visionary, brave, able administrator and great human being who provided justice to all during his regime.
Earlier, MP  Jugal Kishore Sharma said that the occasion was a memorable moment for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.  Maharaja Gulab Singh took personal interest in the management of the affairs of the State and  restored order in his territories, reduced refractory chiefs and through remarkable campaigns connected Kishtwar, Baltistan, Ladakh and Gilgit, he said. The MP also  assured all possible assistance for development of Jeo Pota Ghat besides restoration of the heritage sites of the State.
The function was organized by Maharaja Gulab Singh Raj Tilak Celebration Committee in collaboration with Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Trust Management Committee  at the place where Maharaja Ranjit Singh anointed Gulab Singh as ruler of Jammu and Kashmir on June 17, 1822.
While remembering the role of Maharaja Gulab Singh in the formation of an independent State of Jammu & Kashmir, K P Singh threw light on historic events related to Maharaja Gulab Singh.
K  Narain Singh stressed that foundation day of J&K should be  officially celebrated.
Gen R S Jamwal, president Dharmarth Trust lauded the Dogra rulers for giving an efficient administrative systems on which today’s administrative set up stands.
Mahant Ranveshawarji sought promotion of Raj Tilak event and its conversion into foundation day.  Balwant Thakur, president ICCR Jammu stressed upon the need to promote local  language, heritage and culture. Brig (Retd) J S Rajput,  read out Dr  Karan Singh’s message.
On the occasion, brochures on the life and achievements of the founder ruler were distributed by Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Trust.
Prominent among others present on the occasion, included Gen G S Jamwal (president JKESL), presidents Rajput Sabha Samba and Reasi,  Sat Pal Saraf, Brig Anil Gupta, Col C S Jamwal from Sedhra, S  Mohinder Singh, president Gurdwara Prabandik Committee, R S Pathania,  Ved Prakash Sharma, president Brahmin Pratinidhi Sabha, Dr K C Bhagat, Shakti Ram Sharma, Youth presidents of Brahmin and Rajput Sahakha Sabhas, Sarpanches and Panches with many other dignitaries.
Col Karan Singh  compeered the function which began with poems by local poets
and ended with a community kitchen  at Sant Baba Sunder Singhji Gurdwara.

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