Even as life in Kashmir has come to a grinding halt due to the prevailing unrest, the political and developmental activities are thriving in Jammu region.
The Jammu based politicians especially from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are leaving no chance to reach out to their constituencies. They are chairing meetings, laying foundation stones of new projects and are monitoring the other developmental works. "Present unrest in Kashmir has provided the BJP leaders with an opportunity to regain the lost ground in Jammu. The prevailing uncertainty is making them believe that anything can happen anytime. They are trying to keep their vote bank intact," opined a politician, who wished not to be named.
The BJP leader and MLA from Jammu East, Rajesh Gupta said, "Jammu is witnessing rapid growth with the start of national level institutions. We have the Central University and IIT that are already functioning. When AIIMS and IIM start functioning we will truly have an extraordinary educational infrastructure in Jammu city."
The BJP state spokesperson Balbir Rattan said, "The present government at the Centre is giving due preference to Jammu region in the matters of its development; establishment of academic, technical and medical institutions, granting special grant for the infrastructure and other amenities. The sanctioning of AIIMS, IIT, IIM and Institute of Mass Communication prove that BJP is committed to serve the people of the state, in particular those of Jammu region and address their grievances pending for many years."
An analyst while talking to Greater Kashmir said, " Contrary to its coaltion partner, PDP is fast losing ground in Kashmir where nothing is moving. PDP ministers and leaders are finding it difficult to venture out and reach out to the people who had voted for them. The work on prestigious projects. PDP at present is caught between the devil and the deep sea."
The senior PDP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh recently told NDTV that his party joining hands with BJP is "not working" and is making it (PDP) "unpopular" in Kashmir. He said that PDP could contemplate to pull out from the alliance if efforts are not put-in to diffuse the present crisis in Kashmir.
A Kashmir watcher said, "PDP is grappling with number of issues in
Kashmir. The BJP leaders from JK have maintained silence since the day unrest broke out in Kashmir. The least BJP leaders could have done was they could have convinced their leaders sitting in Delhi to help its ally PDP. They should have provided honest feedback to their party high command rather than maintaining golden silence."
He said, "Everyone knows that mere rhetoric won't help anyone's cause and collective efforts only can restore normalcy in Kashmir. No one can deny the fact that Jammu and Kashmir regions are interdependent and Jammu too is feeling the heat of Kashmir unrest. Coalition partners need to join hands to pull Kashmir out of quagmire of uncertainty rather than treading different paths."