JAMMU: In the past 73 days-from the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh till the birth anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah- the PDP-BJP Government, led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has failed to order a fresh review of the list of State holidays as sought by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh.
After huge uproar over the demand of a State holiday on September 23, birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, the BJP leadership had promised to lend all possible support to the cause.
To cool down the boiling tempers of angry residents of Jammu region, Nirmal Singh had even opened a ‘Pandora’s box’ by asking for a review of long list of the State holidays.
The BJP leader was forced to make this statement as he had failed to convince Mehbooba Mufti to declare September 23 a holiday.
“There is a long list of holidays and some of these are directly linked with a political party”, Nirmal Singh had commented.
Without naming National Conference, Dr Singh had also stated that the existing list be thoroughly reviewed as already Jammu and Kashmir enjoys long list of holidays. He 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.
However, on Tuesday when the entire State observed 112th birth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, the Deputy Chief Minister was himself present in Poonch to attend a function where he unveiled statue of the assassinated Principal District and Sessions Judge Vijay Kumar Phull, killed by terrorists, on way to Rajouri.
Political observers feel by not pushing for the fresh review of the State holidays, the BJP unit and senior cabinet ministers have let down people of Jammu region, as they are acting as B-team of the PDP to stay in power and ignoring their own core constituency.
Another section of political pundits claimed, “BJP is playing its cards very cautiously and do not want to antagonise top brass of the National Conference by regular pin pricks and curtailing the list of State holidays by withdrawing December 5 as State holiday”.
“The BJP is apparently eyeing next Assembly polls and under the prevailing circumstances may require a new alliance partner if they too failed to retain equal number of seats won in 2014 Assembly polls to stake claim at the time of government formation in 2020”, commented a political observer.
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