“Post-Re-organization era has witnessed a massive slow down in J&K with development taking a back seat and growing unemployment becoming more pronounced. Moreover, the dismantling of J&K state has adversely impacted the trade, tourism and economy of the erstwhile princely Dogra state of the country.

There is an all-around dis-enchantment amongst the people who were caught unawares on August 5, 2019, when the BJP led govt at the centre suddenly announced the Re-organization of J&K and its division into two Union Territories”. Today, Mr Harsh Dev Singh, former Minister, stated this while addressing a massive gathering at Town Hall Ramnagar.

“While the economy fast dissipated and development came to a grinding halt, the ever-growing unemployment seemed to be the only notable feature of the saffron rule. Moreover, the past few years witnessed massive public uprisings against the anti-Jammu and anti-people policies of the ruling dispensation, which continued to be suppressed through the iron fist of police and civil administration.

Taking repeated somersaults on almost all its professed promises, the narcissistically pleased and intoxicated power regime continued to use the state’s coercive apparatus to silence all those who dared raise their voice for justice and sought fulfilment of promises made by it during elections. Rather than honouring its commitments during elections, it was trying to crush the dissenting voices by causing dissensions in and breaking the opposition parties.

Describing the BJP’s handling of dissent and disquiet as oppressively bizarre, undemocratic and morally sinister, Mr Singh appealed to the workers not to succumb to the Machiavellian designs of the power-hungry politicians. He said that he would stand with its people through thick and thin and continue to expose and oppose those who exploited the gullibility of poor masses for their personal and political gains”, asserted Harsh.

Addressing the huge gathering, Mr Harsh Dev lambasted the NDA govt for having done the greatest disservice to J&K by demoting it to the level of UT. It has humiliated the Dogras in particular by dismantling the oldest Dogra state. The extension of several draconian laws after the abrogation of Art 370, including the opening of lands and jobs to outsiders, had, in particular, come as a rude shocker for the people of J&K.

The survival of small traders has been threatened by the proposed entry of corporates, business tycoons and big stores into the UT. The unemployed youth of the Jammu region has been the most disappointing lot, with their share in services have been abysmally reduced. The Daily wagers, the contractual, and the underemployed have all felt cheated in the present regime.

Alleging that a deep-rooted culture of corruption was prevalent in the UT, Mr Singh called upon the vigilante organizations to keep a close watch over the functioning of various Deptts, particularly PHE, Revenue, Education, Power and RDD. He said that the lackadaisical approach of the concerned authorities was responsible for the power and drinking water crisis in the majority of the rural areas.

He regretted the non-payment of relief to farmers whose lands were acquired to construct PMGSY roads during the past 6-7 years. Several houses on the roads’ alignment were forcibly dismantled without paying a penny as compensation despite the funds having been sanctioned for the same years back.