Former DGP J&K, Kuldeep Khoda: “Constitutionally J&K, like any other part of the country, had its Chief Ministers elected by ruling majority in the assembly. However, for reasons, which can’t be justified by Constitution we have been getting Chief Ministers mostly from the Valley and always from a particular community. It has not been a mere coincidence but practiced by all ruling regional and national parties right from independence till 2018 when we had the last Chief Minister of erstwhile J&K State. Now with J&K having been granted Union Territory status by Parliament, it is expected that democratic process will be followed in letter and spirit and vote bank or appeasement politics is not allowed to overtake the constitutional process. Strangely for most part of last seven decades Jammu region, though having more electorate than the Valley, political management ensured 46 assembly seats to Kashmir with Jammu getting 37. Similar has been the case with seats to Lok Sabha with less number of electorate electing 3 MPs from the Valley and larger number of electorate sending two MPs to Indian Parliament. With new Delimitation Commission at its job, it is hoped that this long pending anomaly is addressed and election of Chief Minister ensured in a manner so that not only constitutional justice is done but is also seen to be done. The elected MLAs have an important role to play in ensuring that Head of the UT is chosen to infuse confidence among all sections of people and to meet aspirations of two diverse regions of UT the Chief Ministers of both regions irrespective of community are elected from to time”.
Advocate Ankur Sharma said, “From roaring to have ‘Hindu CM’ to whimpering while seeking ‘CM from Jammu’ are proven to be hollow political slogans only. When BJP could have made a Hindu CM in 2015 it chose not to and without even uttering a word handed over complete power to PDP and that too twice. Later, they pitched for a 2 MLA party’s leader to become a CM. Lately; by sticking to delimitation based upon Census-2011 despite popular resistance they have ensured that Jammu shall continue to remain a political slave of Kashmir. In their zeal for getting certificate of secularism from Muslims, they are now pitching for a Jammu CM.”
Former HoD Nephrology, GMC Jammu Dr S K Bali: “Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory should have a Hindu Chief Minister from Jammu region only because the region has suffered a lot of discrimination in the past at the hands of Kashmir-centric leadership.A competent, forceful and pro-Jammu person should be chosen for the job. Keeping the past record in mind, I think Sham Lal Sharma is the most eligible candidate to steer the UT efficiently. Otherwise some non-political personality having a forceful attitude and high intellect can be chosen.
Former President of CCI Y V Sharma: “I am surprised at this question whether we want a Hindu CM or a Muslim.My frank answer is that we want a good human being as CM who attends to the welfare of all the citizens of the Union Territory, irrespective of caste, colour, creed or gender.We know that there is a definite constitutional provision of electing a CM which has to be adhered to in all the cases.Moreover, rule of law has to prevail in all cases but it is paradox that the same is generally violated and manipulated”, he said.
Retired Chief Education Officer Sham Sharma: “Jammu and Kashmir must have Hindu Chief Minister and in my view he can be Devinder Singh Rana who can recognize the voice of Jammu as well as device strategy for the development of J&K.His vision with his progressive plan of action may benefit the people of Jammu. He can help in improving the economy too, as he is good businessman cum politician and being a Jammuite he knows all the issues and problems.So, I think he is best to be the next Hindu CM of J&K.”
Sugam Bral, Culture Activist: ” Sham Lal Sharma is apt candidate for being the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He has been in the forefront for the equitable development of J&K since the inception of his political career. In spite of the party affiliations he has championed the cause of Jammu and Dogras and has never been a fence sitter. His performance as a minister holding various portfolios in the previous dispensation was exemplary. He is the first public figure who despite belonging to a different party line in the previous dispensation demanded justice for Jammu region and asked for a separate Jammu State so that the human rights of highly discriminated Dogras are upheld.”
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