Ahead of the Jammu and Kashmir all-party meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24, a massive controversy has erupted over the non-inclusion of some political parties from the Jammu region.
Many social and political groups in Jammu region are up in arms and have accused the government of ignoring and neglecting Jammu.
Dogra Front activists protested in Jammu’s Rani Park area on Monday, questioning the government’s decision to invite Kashmiri-based politicians and “snubbing” Jammu parties.
Raising slogans against the Gupkar Alliance leaders, including Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, the protesters said that Jammu is under-represented at the all-party meeting.
“Farooq Abdullah sought China’s help for the restoration of Article 370. Mehbooba Mufti made derogatory remarks against Parliament. Both of these leaders have been invited to the all-party meeting, but Jammu’s nationalist and patriotic political leaders have been ignored. Displaced Kashmiri Pandits who were driven out of their homes in Kashmir Valley by terrorists have also been snubbed,” Dogra Front president Ashok Gupta said.
Meanwhile, Ikkjutt Jammu (United Jammu), a Jammu-based political party has slammed the Modi government for “surrendering to Kashmir-centric parties”. Party president Ankur Sharma has said that the government is committing a big blunder by inviting the Kashmiri parties.
“The government is appeasing separatists and semi-separatist parties who are masquerading as mainstream parties in J&K,” Ankur Sharma said.
On the other hand, organisations of displaced Kashmiri Pandits are also miffed with the Modi government as none of their representatives have been called to participate in the all-party meeting in New Delhi.
The Kashmiri Pandit groups have said that since they don’t have a political voice, it is important to invite them to the meeting to be chaired by PM Modi.
“The government is negating everything that has been achieved after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A. The dialogue process started by the government is a clear testimony to the fact that the government still wants to run J&K through halfway separatism. The government continues to believe that NC and PDP are the primary political forces in J&K. This is political suicide,” said Dr Ajay Chrangoo, chairman of Panun Kashmir.
Putting up a brave face, the BJP has said that it would raise the issues of Jammu region, displaced Kashmiri Pandits and displaced persons from Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) and push for fair delimitation exercise at the all-party meeting.
“There is no need to worry. We would raise the issue of under-representation of Jammu region in J&K assembly at the meeting. We want a delimitation exercise that gives justice to Jammu. We want development and peace in both Jammu region and Kashmir valley. We would also raise the issue of rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits. We want Kashmiri Pandits to be rehabilitated in a secured zone in the Kashmir Valley. We are also going to talk about the vacant PoJK 24 seats in the J&K assembly. At least one-third of these seats must be filled by giving representation to displaced people from PoJK,” senior BJP leader and former J&K Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta said.