Opposition parties in Jammu demand statehood restoration

Opposition parties in Jammu demand statehood restoration

Jammu: Several prominent persons, including former ministers affiliated with different political parties Monday pledged to safeguard the interests of Jammu province amid demands for restoration of statehood to J&K.

A seminar on ‘Understanding Jammu: Challenges and way ahead’ was organised by Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS) founded by former minister Lal Singh, and was attended among others by Jammu and Kashmir Congress Vice President Raman Bhalla and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) chairman Harsh Dev Singh, both former ministers.

They said that the platform was not against any “religion or region” but an exercise to unite the people of the Jammu region against the BJP which had allegedly betrayed them by its “hollow promises and misleading statements”.

“The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, founded by Dogra rulers, was dismembered and promises were made to the people of Jammu region that the decades of discrimination will be undone… they have misled the public and all their promises have proved a hoax,” Bhalla said.

This was for the first time post abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 that different opposition parties shared a platform in the Jammu region.

“We all are together to ensure justice is done to Jammu. We are not here to snatch the rights of Kashmiris but we will not allow anyone to snatch our rights as well,” the Congress leader said, demanding immediate restoration of statehood and constitutional safeguards for the protection of land and jobs for the locals.

He also slammed the BJP for the “deteriorating” law and order situation in J&K and said that the killings in Kashmir were unabated while the border population suffered immensely over the years due to cross-border shelling.

The DSS founder said he had taken it upon himself to unite Jammu against the alleged onslaught of the ruling party on the interests of the people.

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