Srinagar, Jun 03 : Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Monday necessitated for strengthening efforts for the development of tribal population of the state, saying that need of the hour is to fill the development gap between various communities through effective legislative measures and increased spending in welfare schemes.
Party president while addressing various delegations who had called on him to congratulate on the impressive victory of the party in general elections said, “Our idea of development is inclusive, it sans regional and ethnic prejudices of all sorts. The party has always fought for the interests of tribal community; the sheer commitment with which our party has served the people particularly the indomitable tribals of our state is unmatched. The successive NC led government always made it a point to look after the multi-faceted demands of the tribals vis a vis education, health and nutrition. The party has painstakingly worked to give voice to the tribal community by giving them due representation in cabinet and legislative assembly and council. The establishments of Gujjar and bakarwal board, mobile schools, and hostels are some of the high flying feathers in our cap.”
“Much of the ground work for giving them tribal status was also done during the NC led government. The community has considerably risen on the ladder of social development, however much more needs to be done in terms of providing greater employment opportunities to the tribal youth of state. I am sure with Omar sahib in the steering position of the new government the party will work on both legislative measures and others fronts to ensure speedy development of the tribals of our state.”
Visiting delegations had come from Bandipura, Uri, Hazratbal, Handwara and other areas of the state. The visiting delegations and individuals apprised the party president about the development deficit in their areas. The visiting delegations apprised the party president about the abject plight of the tribal community living in the far-flung areas of the state.
Party president while extolling the role of Gujjar, Bakerwal and Pahari community in upholding the secular traditions of the state said, “Despite being attacked during the reign of former BJP-PDP government, Gujjars continued to water the cherished ideals of brotherhood and inter religious camaraderie. The tribal community too could not escape the imprudent and prejudiced policies of the former BJP-PDP coalition. We saw how the settlements of tribals were attacked upon. However, once our party comes to power we will make amends to the wrongs committed by the former BJP-PDP regime. The idea of a developed J&K is not possible if any community is left behind. We are aware of the development demands of the tribals, we will strive hard to deliver on that front, but the first and foremost task will be to ensure sense of security to all the communities especially the tribals of our state. The tribal communities in acknowledgement of our services have whole heatedly supported us in the recent elections. I am sure that the tribals including Gujjars, Bakarwals and others will continue with the momentum and repose their faith in the party that has always lent them voice,” adding, “the schedule tribe status to Gujjar and Bakarwal community happened in NC government. The Omar Abdullah government also did a lot towards elevating the social disposition of the tribals. The former NC led government led by Omar Sahib was mulling to give 5% reservation to Pahari community; however the former BJP-PDP government didn’t pursue the process. Once the former BJP-PDP coalition was over, we had pinned high hopes on the Governor administration to pursue the matter of reservation to the community on the lines as was mulled by the Omar Abdullah led government. The governor administration too didn’t rise up to the expectations of the people. The quota of reservation as was dolled out by our government was decreased from 5% to 3%.”
The visiting delegations highlighted the contribution of Madr- e- Maharban Begum Akbar Jehan Abdullah for her efforts towards the emancipation of Gujjar Bakarwal community. People who had thronged the residence of Party President vowed to make the party stronger on grass roots.
Among others party’s senior leaders Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Muhammad Shafi Uri, Shammi Oberoi, Showkat Mir, Mushtaq Guroo, and GN Rattanpuri were also present on the occasion.
Meanwhile party president Dr Farooq Abdullah urged the divisional administration to ensure all basic and effective amenities to the devotees at the shrine of Hazrat Mian Nizam Ud Din Kiyanwi (RA) in the wake of annual Urs celebrations at Baba Nagri, Kangan. Party general secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar also impressed on the administration to ensure all facilities to the devotees at the shrine.