May 2016 News

BJP Man Rocks Party Boat

22 May 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: BJP MLA from Akhnoor Rajeev Sharma today created an embarrassing situation for the Deputy Chief Minister and other ministers of his party when he walked out of the all-important District Development Board (DDB) meeting, alleging discrimination against the Jammu region by the government. The allegation of discrimination by their party legislator landed BJP ministers in a difficult situation with party leaders already facing charges of bartering Jammu's wishes and aspirations for power. Highly placed sources said BJP legislator Sharma, during the DDB meeting, strongly opposed the proposal of the government to allocate funds worth Rs 200.41 crore for Jammu district, comprising 11 Assembly segments. 'This is discrimination against Jammu. The proposal amount is not enough for the development of Jammu,' he said. 'What are the criteria for sanctioning funds to different districts?' he asked. Interestingly, when Sharma was 'fighting' for more funds, other BJP legislators of Jammu district were mute spectators, a source said. 'As no other BJP MLA supported him, Sharma left the meeting in a huff,' added the source. In the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, the enraged legislator asserted that he was not going to tolerate this discrimination. 'People of the Jammu region have elected us with the hope of an end to decades of discrimination so we are duty bound to come up to expectations of the people,' he shouted. Bias against the Jammu region was the main poll plank for the party in the Jammu region, where the BJP had almost swept the Assembly polls in 2014. Raising the issue of discrimination during a meeting chaired by the Deputy Chief Minister created an embarrassing situation for the party, which claimed to be a champion of Jammu's cause. 'Unless our demands of adequate funds are met, I will not attend any other DDB meeting in the future,' Sharma told The Tribune. 'Proposals submitted during the meeting were not enough to meet the requirements of Jammu,' he added. Giving reasons for opposing the government, of which his own party was a part, Sharma regretted that discrimination against Jammu had been going on unabated. 'Jammu is ignored in every sphere of life. Jammu is treated like other districts,' he rued. He recalled that he had raised the same issue during the last DDB meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. 'He had promised that he would address the issue. Unfortunately, inadequate proposals were made for Jammu again,' he said. 'Being a representative of people, it is our duty to address grievances of the common man,' he asserted.