Hitting out hard at the opposition party governments in the past, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said that Udhampur and other hill regions were neglected because of the appeasement policy followed by successive governments headed by National Conference (NC) and Congress whose priority was vote bank consideration and who made it a point to convey the message that their plans of development were not meant for such districts or regions from where they did not expect such votes.

Addressing a BJP public rally at Udhampur, Dr Singh said, Udhampur did not get its due and was always discriminated against because it was always a stronghold of erstwhile Jana Sangh and then Bharatiya Janata Party, but ever since Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister in 2014, he has made it clear that all those regions which did not receive due attention in the past governments will be developed at par with the other developed parts of the country.

It will be a subject of analysis for future historians, said Dr Singh, as to why many of the projects taken up during the last 8 to 9 years were not even considered by the earlier governments.

Citing an example, he said, for instance, River Devika has flown through Udhampur for centuries and so many generations were born and raised by its banks but it was only during the present government that a mega national level project for river rejuvenation for the holy Devika was initiated and Rs. 200 crore allocated for it.

On the occasion, over three dozen elected representatives of local bodies and a large number of youth joined the BJP and were introduced to the Minister by former MLA Balawant Singh Mankotia who had recently quit the Aam Aadmi Party and joined the BJP.

Dr Singh hoped that with all the like-minded ground level activists joining the BJP, it would be possible to further multiply the pace of development in the region.

Sharing the information that a state-of-the-art wellness centre is near completion at Mantalai, Dr Singh took a dig at the Congress Party and said that the entire premises had been deserted for the last three decades after the death of Swami Dhirendra Bhrahamchari who was very close the Indira regime.

It was only during the present government led by Prime Minister Modi that this premises had been reconstructed and redeveloped, he said.

Referring to several landmark achievements of the past 8 to 9 years, Dr Singh said, this is perhaps the only Lok Sabha constituency in the country which has got three Centrally Funded Medical Colleges, out of which one is located in Udhampur.

He also referred to the new radio station, new passport office, Devika bridge, Beerwa bridge, upcoming Sudmaha Dev national highway, Dhar road upgradation and centrally funded roads to peripheral areas like Gordi.

He also announced from his MP fund a new community hall to be brought up close to the venue of public rally at Mangolian.

Later, Dr Singh also held a meeting with the District administration in presence of public representatives. It was decided to initiate legal proceedings against the contractor of river Devika project in addition to Rs 2 cr fine for not meeting the timeline.

He expressed satisfaction at the fact that for the last three years consecutively Udhampur district stood at rank 1 or rank 2 at all india level for the construction of centrally funded PMGSY roads.