JAMMU: With the formal release of the list of holidays to be observed in Jammu and Kashmir during calendar year 2018 by the General Administration Department on Thursday the proposal of declaring the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh on September 23 as State holiday has been virtually struck down by the BJP-PDP government to further cement its ties.
Though the Maharaja’s birth anniversary falls on Sunday (September 23) in 2018 yet the day has not been marked as holiday, like First Navratra and Yearly Closing of Banks, which too fall on Sunday, March 18, 2018 and April 1, 2018 respectively
Before issuing a formal notification, the coalition government failed to even fulfill its own promise of reviewing the existing list of State holidays, as suggested by Deputy Chief Minister Prof Nirmal Singh.
Cornered by the several political parties and other socio-political organisations, the Pradesh BJP leadership had promised to lend all possible support to the issue of observing State holiday on September 23, to mark the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh.
The Deputy Chief Minister was forced to make this statement to pacify the agitated members of the civil society, as public anger against BJP in Jammu was building up, much to the chagrin of top brass of the State unit.
Inside reports claimed that despite a strong pitch in support of holiday on September 23 by the senior BJP ministers their PDP colleagues had cold shouldered the demand by not even taking it up for consideration in the cabinet meeting.
It is learnt Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had also shared her view point with the central BJP leaders and ‘advised’ them against fiddling with the idea of announcing public holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh.
“There is a long list of holidays in the State and some of these are directly linked with a political party”, Prof Nirmal Singh had stated when he was asked to spell out the stand of the State government on the contentious issue.
Without naming National Conference, Dr Singh had also stated that the existing list of State holidays should be thoroughly reviewed as already Jammu and Kashmir enjoys long list of holidays.
Dr Singh had made these observations while responding to a direct question whether the BJP had moved a proposal to strike down July 13-Martyrs Day and December 5- birth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah as State holidays.
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