September 2017 News

BJP, NC, Congress On Same Page Over Autonomy To Jammu Region

13 September 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: As discrimination with the Jammu region was the main issue for the majority of the delegations which met with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his two-day stay at the winter capital of the state, a consensus is emerging among political parties about having regional autonomy to ensure equitable and balanced development in all three regions of J&K. Not only the ruling BJP, but even opposition parties like the Congress, Panthers Party and the Kashmir-centric National Conference are on the same page when it comes to putting an end to the 'discrimination' against the Jammu region by granting it regional autonomy. The NC delegation during an interaction with Rajnath Singh on Tuesday had argued that regional autonomy to the three regions was the only way to ensure equitable development in the state. The NC has suggested regional autonomy to Jammu on the pattern of the autonomous hill development councils of Leh and Kargil. Party sources said it was all due to the brewing anger among people of the Jammu region against 'discriminatory' policies of the PDP-BJP government that the NC had forwarded the idea of granting regional autonomy to the winter capital to ensure justice. The Congress had already incorporated this demand in its election manifesto in the 2014 Assembly elections. 'Our stand is very clear on this issue. There should be constitutional mechanism to ensure equal treatment to all three regions of the state,' J&K Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Sham Lal Sharma said, adding that it was a matter of satisfaction that most political parties were on the same page over the grant of regional autonomy to the Jammu region. Before becoming part of the government, the BJP strongly batted for regional autonomy to the Jammu region. On January 7 this year, state BJP spokesman Varinder Gupta had demanded regional autonomous councils for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to end 'discrimination' with Jammu. 'There is a need for the creation of regional autonomous councils for all three regions of the state, and empowering the councils with legislative, administrative and financial powers,' Gupta had demanded. JKPSC 'anti-Jammu', Rajnath told : Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his two-day visit to Jammu which ended on Tuesday was briefed by various delegations about the anti-Jammu stance of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) in selecting candidates for gazetted posts. A number of delegations drew Rajnath's attention to the recently released selection list in which only one candidate from the Jammu region figured in the list of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Judicial) Competitive Examination in the open category. The selected candidate, incidentally, happens to be a daughter of a Cabinet Minister.

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