June 2019 News

To End 'bias' Against Jammu, Cong Offers Support To BJP

5 June 2019
The Tribune
Dinesh Manhotra

Srinagar: Clamour for setting up a delimitation commission to end the 'discrimination' against Jammu and Ladakh regions has gained momentum as Congress on Wednesday offered support to the BJP on this proposal, to ensure justice to 'politically deprived' regions of the state. Panthers Party is already agitating to set up a fresh delimitation commission to ensure political empowerment of 'ignored' Jammu and Ladakh regions. 'It is an appropriate time for BJP to fulfil promises it made with the people of Jammu and Ladakh in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. We will support the BJP on this issue,' spokesman for Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Ravinder Sharma told The Tribune. 'The BJP has majority in the Lok Sabha and J&K is under President's rule, so it is high time to initiate some concrete steps instead of lip service,' he said. Sharma, however, doubted the intensions of the BJP in setting up a fresh delimitation commission. 'It is nothing but a ploy of the saffron brigade to hoodwink people after getting their votes,' the PCC chief said and dared the BJP to set a time frame for the proposed commission to submit its report. BJP, on the other hand, claimed that the NDA Government at the Centre would make institutional arrangements to end discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh regions. 'How long will we continue to face step-motherly treatment in every sphere of life?' asked the newly elected Lok Sabha member of BJP Jugal Kishore Sharma. He said the Centre was working on a specific plan to ensure justice to Jammu and Ladakh regions. 'There is no reason to deprive people of Jammu and Ladakh of their equal voting rights,' Sharma said and demanded that same yardstick should be used to carve out assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies. Pointing towards the electoral rolls of the just concluded Lok Sabha elections, Sharma said with 39,95,599 votes, Kashmir has three Parliamentary seats while Jammu region, with 37,25,733 voters, has only two seats. Panthers Party leader Balwant Singh Mankotia, while supporting the proposal of the Union Government, said his party was agitating since long on the issue. 'Delimitation is must to end the decade-long political discrimination against Jammu region,' he said. Former union minister Chaman Lal Gupta said the Centre's proposal to delimit Assembly constituencies in the state to ensure fair representation to the three regions was a welcome step. Gupta said since Independence, the state had never had fair and timely delimitation of constituencies, resulting in regional disparities