Jammu, Mar 6 (PTI) Hitting out at the BJP for asserting that the next chief minister of the union territory will be a resident of Jammu, Apni Party chief Syed Altaf Bukhari on Sunday said such statements were made with an intention to divide the two regions.
The former minister also accused he BJP of letting “outsiders loot the natural resources” of the union territory.
“We condemn the BJP for demanding a local chief minister from Jammu. Who else can be more associated with Jammu than me after having invested in the industrial sector for the last 31 years? Am I not from Jammu?” Bukhari said.
“Elections were not held…Now the demand for a Jammu chief minister is an attempt to divide the two regions (Jammu – Kashmir). However, the Apni Party will not let this happen,” he said.
His statement comes as a response to BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir chief Ravinder Raina’s assertion that the BJP will win the assembly elections and will choose a leader from Jammu as the union territory’s chief minister.
“Does it make me an outsider after investing in Jammu for the last three decades and an outsider as a resident of Jammu? This division is dangerous for society and it should be avoided. These statements are given to divert the attention of the people so that they do not ask for development or question the government over growing unemployment,” he said at a public meeting organised by the party at Nagri in Kathua.
The former minister also alleged that the BJP was depriving the local people of their “rights” over the land by allowing non-state subjects to become domiciles of the union territory within 15 years.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, he said the Centre’s decision left lakhs of people associated with the extraction of minerals jobless and that their trade was gradually grabbed by “outsiders”.
“Their right to earning was taken over by non-locals and it created a sense of insecurity and great distress. If we come to power, we will ensure that the resources will be handed over to the locals and no outsider will be allowed to intervene or exploit the resources which belong to the local population of their respective districts,” he said.
Demanding reservation for women in Parliament and the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly, Bukhari said his party has decided to field Khushboo Bhagat from Kathua during the next assembly elections.
“Bhagat belongs to a marginalized Dalit family and hence it is our motive to empower the neglected section of society by providing them ample opportunities for social, political and economical upliftment,” he said.
Bukhari said his party does not distinguish between the Jammu region and Kashmir. PTI TAS CJ CJ
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Source: The Print