STATE TIMES NEWSVIJAYPUR: Former Minister and Congress Party’s District President Samba, Manjit Singh on Sunday demanded separate statehood status to Jammu division. The demand was raised during a public meeting in Vijaypur where former Minister appealed the Modi Government to respect the sentiments of Jammu people and accordingly, grant statehood status to the nationalist people. “Jammu people always stood by the nation and they should not be betrayed with Union Territory. Jammu division deserves to be a State, instead a Union Territory,” said Manjit Singh. He said that even during British rule over India, Jammu and Kashmir State remained an independent state. “The honour of the nationalist people should be respected and hence, their demand for statehood be fulfill with all rights reserved,” he added. He demanded reservation of Government jobs, in educational institutions, and professional colleges for the Jammu division youth so that they can compete at national level. Expressing concern over keeping Kashmir with Jammu as a Union Territory, the opposition leader demanded that Kashmir should be separated from Jammu so that Jammu again may not suffer. Referring to restriction on opposition leaders, Manjit Singh said that it is very unfortunate that a crackdown has been launched on the opposition leaders especially against those belongs to Congress Party. “Congress was always accused of imposing emergency in the country in 1975, but present-day situation is more than an emergency in Jammu and Kashmir where no voice is being heard by the Government and leaders are being put behind the bars,” said the former minister. He said that “Jammu people always remained nationalist, and Congress Party has made supreme sacrifices for the national cause, yet both are facing ‘wrath’ of the Government.” BJP is claiming to have abolished special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress leader said, adding that it was only Congress party which managed to erode most of the provisions of the Art 370 and directly implemented writ of Government of India. The District President of Congress Party in Samba further said that the Government should release the political leaders, who have been put under house arrest across Jammu division and Kashmir especially of Congress party.
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