Jammu: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said Jammu is the worst victim of BJP’s political gimmick, alleging that the saffron party is surrendering interests of people from the region to benefit big corporate houses.
She also said her party risked its political interests to honour aspirations of the people of Jammu region who had given huge mandate to the right wing party in the 2014 assembly elections.
The former chief minister reiterated her party’s stand that integration of the two regions of Kashmir and Jammu was the essence of development and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Jammu, once considered as the economic hub of the erstwhile state, is the worst victim of BJP’s political gimmick. People in Kashmir always suspected the intentions of BJP but Jammu gave a huge mandate to the party (in 2014 assembly polls) on the assurances of political and economic empowerment,” Mufti said while addressing a meeting of senior party leaders here.
Accusing the BJP of indulging in “divisive and deceitful” politics, Mufti said the saffron party is surrendering interests of people to benefit big corporate houses of the country.
“From economy to cultural identity, BJP has looted Jammu of everything which it was once proud of. Today big corporate houses from across the country have deep penetration into Jammu, unemployment rate is alarming, developmental growth is at standstill while even the militancy has spilled over to the region,” she said.
Mufti said Kashmir and Jammu are interdependent with each other and PDP has always tried to be the bridge between the people on both sides.
“(PDP patron) Mufti Muhammad Sayed even risked political interests of his party to honour aspirations of Jammu region, which had given a huge mandate to the right wing party in previous assembly elections,” she said referring to the PDP forming the government in alliance with BJP.
In the 2014 J&K assembly elections, the PDP had won 28 seats, the BJP got 25 seats, the National Conference 15 and the Congress 12.
On March 1, 2015, Sayeed took oath as the chief minister of the PDP-BJP combine. After the death of Sayeed in 2016, Mehbooba Mufti became the chief minister. However, the three-year-old coalition government collapsed on June 19, 2018 after the BJP pulled out of the alliance.
“Unfortunately, Jammu region is at the crossroads due to this deceitful politics of BJP, which called itself to be the champion of Jammu,” she said.
The PDP chief asked her party leaders to intensify public outreach programmes across the region.
“You will have to be at the forefront to be the voice and strength of people who are suffering due to official apathy,” she told the party leaders.
Mufti said the problems of Jammu are not less than those faced by Kashmir. “The youth of Jammu are also falling prey to drug addiction and the unemployment is on the rise. The recruitment scams came to light but no action was taken against those holding higher positions,” she said.
Referring to the terror attack in Dhangri village of Rajouri on the New Year Day, she said the incident happened when the BJP is claiming that the security situation has improved after the abrogation of Article 370.