Jammu: The Congress today accused the ruling PDP-BJP coalition government of failing to deliver the promises it made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir during and before the assembly elections. “The PDP-BJP government has lost the trust of the people, in a short span of 10 months, because of utter failure of the coalition to fulfill their tall claims during and after elections and their opportunist and contradictory stand on every important issue in the state,” former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla said while addressing a rally of party workers in Nanak Nagar area of Gandhi Nagar constituency today. The function was organized by senior Congress leader Bhupinder Kour and also attended by Kulbhushan Sharma Onkar Singh, Parveen Singh, Ram Murti, Sukhwinder Singh, Sanjay, Sethi, Lucky Singh, Parveen Gupta, Babbu Choudhary, Bhola Singh, Bunty, Sushil, Manjeet & Davinder Singh.
Bhalla accused the NDA government of “re-branding” or changing nomenclature of pro-people and development-oriented schemes of the previous UPA government to take credit. Citing the case of MNREGA, Congress leader and former minister said the BJP leadership had initially criticised it to malign the UPA government but the Modi government had to make a U-turn and was forced to celebrate its 10 years of completion because of the remarkable success and achievements of this scheme and its popularity amongst the rural poor.“Congress always launched pro-people and development- oriented schemes in the country and the BJP-led NDA government is only re-branding those schemes or changing nomenclature to take credit,” said Bhalla.
Bhalla said the UPA government had laid emphasis on the health, education, connectivity of villages and jobs besides power projects based on nuclear energy, hydel and solar power. Results of these initiatives are visible in the country, he said, adding initiatives of the UPA-II in power sector would bring remarkable results in near future. He said lakhs of schools were opened in each and every corner of the country, while under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), health care facilities had been extended. He asked the Congress leaders and workers to educate the masses and make them aware of the schemes of the Congress party.Bhalla said that Congress has done commendable achievements during UPA-I and UPA-II but the falsehood and exploitation spread by BJP overshadowed the achievements and expressed confidence that people have started understanding the difference in short span, as all promises of Modi Government have turned out to be false.He lauded Congress leadership for framing the schemes like MGNREGA, NRHM, SSA, RGGVY and other schemes aimed at the welfare and development of the rural and urban areas besides taking special care of the SC, ST and minorities, and other downtrodden sections.
The BJP led NDA government has betrayed and cheated the refugees of 1947, 1965 & 1971 from POK and those from West Pakistan in the recent package announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narinder Modi for the state.The package of one time settlement of refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971 comprising financial assistance/ex-gratia relief of Rs 25 lakhs per family amounting to over 9000 crore alongwith several other concessions including reservation to their wards was recommended by the previous Congress-NC coalition government to the centre, after hot persuit by the Congress and various organization of refugees. The BJP which promised to ensure one time settlement of refugees for POK including from Chhamb area, Mirpur, Poonch and Muzaffarabad districts under illegal occupation of Pak besides promising citizenship to West Pakistan refugees before the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, has betrayed them after assuming power both at the centre and sharing the same in the state. He said that soon after coming to power the Modi government had returned the package to the state government without any reason, adding insult to their injuries.Bhalla said that package of ex-gratia recommended by the Congress-NC government for the POK refugee families alone was to the extent of over 9000 crores but the present centre government failed to grant the same in the recent package of Rs. 80,000 crores, which is more or less a packaging exercise of summing up the figures of revised costs ongoing and approved projects and the next five years share of the state, as the Modi government has gained expertise in packaging, he added.
Stating that the prices of all commodities have almost doubled since the recommendation of the package by the previous state government to the centre, Mr. Bhalla demanded that the one time settlement of refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971 along with other recommendations for reservations to wards of such refugees in the professional courses and services should be immediately sanctioned, if the centre and state government are sincere to the cause of these refugees.He further said that the roadmap to facilitate the return & rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants was prepared by the Congress led UPA government in consultation with the state government whereby a package of Rs. 1618.40 crore were sanctioned in the year 2008 where under provision of 3000 jobs with central funding was made, out of which 1963 jobs have already been provided and the process of the remaining is under way. Besides 469 transit accommodations constructed in the Kashmir valley have already been provided to the migrant employees. He said that the present package for the Kashmiri migrants is an extension of the same package initiated by the then UPA government.
Bhalla said that the present coalition partners have failed to respect the mandate of the people as they made a complete ‘U-turn’ on their propagated policies and ideologies for the sake of sharing power which has exposed the “double standards” of two parties. “Their sudden shift and surrender dismayed and disappointed their respective electorate besides exposing their hollow and false commitment to their slogans always used by them to hoodwink the people,” he said. “The government has failed to ensure delivery at the basic levels like availability of ration, power, health, education sector and unemployment besides rehabilitation of flood affected people and the farmers,” Bhalla said. Former Minister said that the employees of different categories including teachers, daily wagers, casual and need- based workers and other such categories of people are regularly seen on protests for their just and genuine demands. “This kind of situation has disappointed every common man who are already facing the brunt of ‘Achhe Din’ promise of Modi government, as the prices of all essential commodities and items of daily use have increased manifold.
The pro-rich, anti-poor and anti- farmer’s policies have already broken the backbone of poor and common man in the county,” he said. He castigated the PDP-BJP government for its double standards on important issues of public and national importance adding that after backtracking on its promises about repealing AFSPA and release of detenues, it again failed to convince the Centre, its coalition partner in the state, about return of power projects from NHPC. Bhalla said that the statement of Union Power Minister that return of power projects to J&K was financially and constitutionally impossible, once again exposing the hollow claims of coalition partners. He ridiculed the government for telling lies to the people and said this coalition relied only on falsehood and deceit.
Expressing grave concern over the growing uncertainty, on political and security fronts, arisen due to contradictory statements being made by the top BJP leadership at Centre and its coalition partner PDP in the state over sensitive national issues, Bhalla said that the whole nation was worried as how the integrity and sovereignty of the country could be safeguarded in such an ambiguous political scenario especially at a time when the enemies of the country were on look out for any opportunity to destabilize it. The former Minister said that there were many contradictions between the state and union governments on vital national issues. Bhalla asserted that the leaders and party cadres of Congress offered great sacrifices for the honour and integrity of the country and vowed that nobody, whosoever, would be allowed to weaken the country’s sovereignty. He castigated the BJP leadership for compromising national interests for the sake of power sharing with PDP in J&K despite having diverse ideological differences vis-à-vis national issues with them. He said that BJP should read the writing on the wall that the people of the country would not forgive it for its betrayal and they would have to answer for its double standards. “Sooner or later, the BJP will fall under the weight of its own double standards,” Bhalla added.
He said that Congress strengthened the grass root democratic institutions Panchayat and Local Bodies, so that the participation of people in the democracy was ensured. Referring to the initiatives of the Congress party for empowering the Panchayat Raj Institutions in the country including the state through the provisions of 73rd and 74th amendments, he said that the vibrant democracy was the real strength and identity of country. He said that the grass root leaders and workers were the real strength of party and stressed for close co-ordination amongst themselves and the people.While coming heavily on the BJP-PDP alliance Bhalla said this alliance was the result of the lust for power and added that the present dispensation failed in keeping its post poll promises. Recalling the massive developmental works carried out during the UPA I and UPA II government he said that during this period Congress party delivered to the needs of the people of Jammu on priority basis.
“It was during the UPA times that the Central University for Jammu, four new cluster universities, forty seven new colleges, a large number of new hospitals at various levels, new parks, road net works, power infrastructure and public health related projects were initiated and accomplished in Jammu region. Also a larger number of new administrative units were created in the efforts to decentralize power and for better governance,” he said. He added that the present dispensation at the Centre and state was taking credit by cutting the inaugural ribbons of the projects and schemes initiated by the UPA government.He asked the field functionaries to gear up the activities at their ward levels to strengthen and expand the organizational base besides take up the day to day problems of the people with the concerned government and administrative machinery. He said that Congress must struggle for the issues of the poor people and common man who would have to face lot of problems in getting their minimum genuine demands redressed from the officials at various levels.
Bhalla said that the booth level and ward level organization had to be further strengthened in order to counter the false propaganda of agents of ruling parties who he said were misleading the public about the numerous achievement of the Congress party and UPA government. He said that because of various policies and programmes of the UPA government, India emerged as a strong nation. He said the “divisive politics” of BJP and certain other forces were against the pluralistic feature of this nation and added that secularism alone can maintain the unity and integrity of the country. He said the popularity of the BJP star in the last Lok Sabha election is on a downward slide because of the widening gap between his pre-poll promises and post-poll actions.”The BJP came to power at the Centre promising ‘achhe din’; however, contrary to its promise, it has indulged in self-aggrandizement. As a result, the Modi government is fast losing its popularity,” Bhalla said.
“Promises like bringing back black money stashed abroad, crediting every account holder’s bank account with Rs 15 lakh each seemed to have been put on the back burner. Unemployment has hit an all-time low in the country with no initiative to create employment avenues and prices of essential commodities, including pulses, skyrocketing,” Bhalla stressed. He alleged that the Modi-led government has been trying to curtail pro-poor policies of the previous UPA government, including MGNREGA, Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Act.
2015 Kashmir Despatch