STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Former Minister and Senior Vice President Pradesh Congress Committee Sham Lal Sharma on Thursday sought All Party Meet (APM) for devising strategy and reaching consensus over regional autonomy to Jammu. He said that all major political parties in the State are on the same page so far as grant of regional autonomy to all three regions is concerned so there will not be any confrontation on the issue.
He said that grant of regional autonomy had already been incorporated by Congress Party’s election manifesto released in 2008 and 2014 assembly elections and moreover it has also supported delimitation.
He said that regional autonomy should be granted with complete political, administrative and financial powers. He said that Jammu region has always faced discrimination irrespective of the political parties ruling the State.
Asking ruling BJP to clear its stand on granting regional autonomy to all the three regions of the State, he said that till date Saffron Party has not cleared its stand on the issue as they don’thave any mechanism to end discrimination being faced by the people of Jammu particularly during present BJP-PDP government.
Sham further reminded that in the past it was BJP who vehemently opposed to regional autonomy and not the Congress party.
“During 2002, the BJP and its sister organisations formed Jammu State Morcha with an aim to have separate Jammu State and subsequently they abandoned for the reason best known to the BJP”, he said adding that BJP has never demanded regional autonomy to all three regions nor it is included in their party manifesto for the years 2008 and 2014 assembly elections.
“BJP’s claim that they had demanded Regional Autonomy in past also is baseless”, he said.
“It has become a habit of BJP to speak too much but there is no action on the ground particularly towards the betterment of Jammu region and its people”, he alleged.
He maintained that granting regional autonomy would help in empowering all regions of the State.
Highlighting the discrimination meted to the people of Jammu region Sham Lal said that the people of Jammu region suffered in all walks of life- in development activities, in services and in allocation of funds. “There is anger among the people of Jammu region due to discrimination against them”, he said and asked BJP to go for regional autonomy as they are in power both at centre and state, and there will be no problem for them to grant regional autonomy to all three regions.
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