Jammu, Jan 9: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Vikar Rasool Wani Monday stated that the Democratic Azad Party (DAP) was collapsing under its own weight, sooner than expected.
He also asserted that the restoration of J&K statehood would also be part of agenda to be raked up during ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, which aimed at uniting people of the country emotionally. “If there is an emotional impact of this yatra on the people, electoral impact will also be seen,” Vikar Rasool said, claiming that the party (Congress) would return to power both at the Centre and in J&K, as and when elections would be held. He was addressing a press conference at PCC headquarter Jammu.
Vikar Rasool, while responding to queries about DAP and return of former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and other leaders to Congress after deserting the former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that they had joined him because of their proximity with him (Azad). “However, they left (him) after realizing that the real game plan of the new party (DAP) was to divide the secular votes and help BJP only,” he alleged.
JKPCC working president Raman Bhalla and other senior Congress leaders including Thakur Manmohan Singh, Pranav Shagotra, Pawan Raina joined him at the presser.
With regard to ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ JKPCC president said, “Its objective is to unite people emotionally in this diverse land. We have to be united not only geographically but emotionally. Our hopes, aspirations should also be united.”
“This is a padyatra (foot march) for the country organised by the Congress, People are participating and joining it on their own for issues close to their heart. In the current political discourse, non-issues are being given priority, while important ones are sidelined. We wish to highlight those (important issues),” he said. Hitting out at the Modi government for its alleged “failure on various fronts during the last eight and half years of rule at the Centre”, JKPCC chief referred to large scale “unemployment, unprecedented price hike, tax terrorism, distress among farmers, besides overall law and order situation in the country.”
Vikar Rasool said that the Modi government had promised two Cr jobs per year to the unemployed youths but instead the unemployment rate during this regime was more than 8 percent in the country while 45 Cr job seekers lost the hope of jobs and this reflected a very dismal situation for the youth and other workforce.
On the issue of, what he alleged, “unprecedented price hike”, he said that the prices of all commodities of common use had sky-rocketed in over eight years, thus going beyond the reach of the common man. He said that the Modi government’s tax collection on petrol diesel jumped more than 300 percent in a few years and the wholesale price hike was 15.88 percent till May 2022, which was the highest in the last 30 years.
On the economic front, Vikar Rasool said that the economic situation was the worst. He alleged that the Modi government waived off the loans of more than Rs 11 lakh crore of big capitalists. “However, the farmers, who promised double income by 2032, are in great economic distress and after more than one year of struggle their issue of MSP guarantee has not been resolved which shows the anti-farmer approach of the Modi government,” he said.
JKPCC president alleged that there was a growing atmosphere of conflict and division in the country among communities which was creating disharmony and weakening the principle of ‘unity in diversity.”
He alleged that the voice of people was being suppressed and their constitutional rights were being crushed. “Efforts are being made in a systematic manner to subvert our Constitution, dismantle our institutions, hollow out our democracy, and destroy our unity and fraternity. State governments of opposition parties, elected by the people, are being brought down by money power and misusing agencies. We can tackle these challenges only through unity - by coming together, holding hands and pledging to come together,” he said.
Meanwhile in a function organized by ex-PYC president Pranav Shagotra, several youth of Jammu joined Congress party. While welcoming them to the Congress party, Vikar Rasool said that the youth in J&K were seeing a new hope in Rahul Gandhi. He said that in J&K and Ladakh, the Congress party was fast emerging as the only choice of people because of its progressive policies, democratic and secular values.
Working president JKPCC Raman Bhalla also welcomed the youth in the party and said that secularism was the strength of the Indian nation and only Congress could lead the state and the country to the path of peace, progress and prosperity by strengthening secular fabric.