J&K’s special status hampers development: BJP

J&K’s special status hampers development: BJP

Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders believe Jammu and Ladakh regions can only be empowered, politically as well as economically, after the state's special status is revoked.

Even as the party leaders are trying to convince that theirleadership wants equal and unbiased development in all three regions of Jammuand Kashmir, yet they are not readily speaking out about a proper policy.

To ensure victory in the ensuing assembly polls, BJP seemsto be eyeing delimitation of seats, which otherwise is scheduled to be held in2026 in the state.

Retired Brig Anil Gupta, spokesperson of the party, toldGreater Kashmir: "BJP is eyeing to empower Jammu and Ladakh because both theregions have faced discrimination by previous governments.  One of the examples is that there is delimitation, where 46 seats go to Kashmir,and 41 seats go to Jammu and Ladakh regions."

Gupta said that policy of Kashmir-centric political partieshas always been Valley-oriented. "Be it funding, preservation of historicalsites, Dogra heritage, citizenship of West Pakistani Refugees, government jobsor creation of health infrastructure, Kashmir has always been preferred overJammu and Ladakh regions," he said.

"This is why today Jammu and Ladakh regions are at verge ofrevolting. Ever-since National Conference came to power in 1989, its vote sharehas declined and BJP's vote share has increased," he said.

For former deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader,Kavinder Gupta, Jammu and Kashmir can be empowered by revoking the state'sspecial status, Article 370 and Article 35-A.

"The special status is a barrier and not a bridge, becauseit did not let the corporate sector come in. We need to have industries to endunemployment," he said, while terming the special status as a "stumblingblock" in the way of development. "Once the industrial sector comes in andstarts investing, the youth will be employed. We will ensure reservation injobs for them (local youth). For a specific period, skilled employees(outsiders) can be employed by the industrialists in the state, but it would beensured that they train local youth to replace the outsiders in factories."

Gupta pointed out the presence of a higher number ofKashmiri officials in the civil secretariat. "Equal ratio of officials fromJammu and Kashmir regions in the civil secretariat must be maintained," heinsisted.

Similarly, BJP's state general secretary, Narinder SinghRaina, said "though the party wants development of all the regions equally, inJammu the tourism sector needs to be promoted on priority and infrastructureneeds to be developed."

On being asked about delimitation and rotation of assemblyseats, he said that "with the implementation of delimitation commission,at least six assembly seats will increase in Jammu division."

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