Former minister and president, District Congress Committee (DCC) Kathua, Dr Manohar Lal Sharma alleged that BJP leaders were playing with the sentiments of Jammu people over the issue of Toll Plazas.
While reacting to the statement of J&K BJP spokesperson that Toll Plazas are necessary for development purpose, former minister lambasted BJP leadership of playing with the sentiments of people. He termed the BJP as a divided house over the issue.
Manohar Lal said when the BJP was in the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, it had objected to the then State Government’s move to set up a Toll Plaza at Lakhanpur and compared it to the collection of “Jazia’’ from Vaishno Devi pilgrims on the way to Katra and BJP workers led by party leader Chander Parkash Ganga had in May 2014 dismantled the structure of a Toll Plaza coming up at Sarore in Samba district but now taking U-turn from its earlier stand, the BJP spokesperson is saying that the setting up of Toll Plazas on the Kathua-Jammu-Srinagar National Highways is necessary for development.
DCC leader asked BJP to come clean on Toll Plaza issue as different statements have been issued by BJP leaders in J&K from time to time which contradicts its stand and said BJP is habitual in playing and exploiting sentiments of the masses.
While referring to different statements, Congress leader said State BJP president says that he will uproot the Toll Plazas with JCB and crane and also quoted that establishment of Toll Plazas in UT is against the norms. Afterwards, Union Minister in PMO issued a statement that relaxation will be given to locals residing within 20 kms of Lakhanpur Toll Plaza whereas, BJP spokesperson has now said Toll Plazas are necessary. Sharma said that three different statements from three leaders of BJP has created the condition of chaos among masses and further asked people to understand the nefarious designs of BJP.
Sharma said that Jammu had witnessed a series of protests under the banner of “Toll Satyagraha”, with locals hitting the streets to demand the abolition of Sarore Toll Plaza in Samba district. Further, he said that the Sarore Toll Plaza violated the prescribed distance limit set by NHAI. But the NHAI has flouted its own rules by constructing the Sarore Toll Plaza just 37.04 km away from the existing Ban Toll Plaza on the Jammu-Udhampur National highway while it should be more than 60 kms as per norms. He asked BJP leaders stop befooling people any more.