STATE TIMES NEWS Jammu: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, other Union ministers and the top central leadership of the BJP will take part in the party’s ‘Jan-Jagran Abhiyan’ rally on the eve of Maharaja Hari Singh’s 125th birthday on Sunday here. The proposed rally is the part of the BJP’s ongoing nationwide campaign on the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The party plans to hold 10 meetings of its senior leaders and Union ministers in the state, including a large gathering in Srinagar. During the rally, the speakers will highlight the contribution of the Maharaja to the state and also focus on the “ill effects” of Articles 370 and 35A on the state economy, culture and development, BJP state vice president and convenor ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ (public awareness campaign) Thakur Narayan Singh told reporters here on Wednesday. “Top national leaders, Union ministers will address the rally at Maharaja Hari Singh Park in Jammu on September 22. The Jan-Jagran Abhiyan rally will be organised on Sunday on the eve of the birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh,” he said.
The rally will be addressed by top national leaders, including Rajnath Singh. BJP national vice president Shyam Jaju, Union Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh and Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur are also expected to speak on the occasion, the BJP state vice president said.
Thakur Narayan Singh said the grand rally on the eve of the 125th birthday of the Maharaja is being organised to pay tributes to the Kashmiri ruler for his contribution to society, state and the nation.
He said an exhibition will also be held on the life of the Maharaja on the occasion.
The Jammu Bar Association, various social organisations and prominent members of the civil society are actively supporting the programme, he said.
Thakur Narayan Singh appealed to the people to join the rally to show their support for the Maharaja, whose “image is being deliberately tarnished by certain agencies”.
The vested interests are giving false and misleading statements to create an atmosphere of confusion, but it is a historical fact that the Maharaja supported Independent India long before the partition during the “round table conference” where he clearly indicated that he wanted to be a part of India, he said.
The British, bewildered over this, along with Sheikh Abdullah connived against the Maharaja to forcibly oust him from his home state, the BJP state vice president alleged.
“Lord Mountbatten, Abdullah and Jawaharlal Nehru were the real culprits for all the mess in the region, especially in incorporating controversial Articles,” he further alleged.
Meanwhile, as part of its ongoing nationwide campaign on the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP plans to hold 10 meetings of its senior leaders and Union ministers in the state, including a large gathering in Srinagar. The ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ (public awareness campaign) was launched by the BJP in favour of the abrogation the state’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. Under it, the party has decided to organise 370 small indoor meetings and 35 big meetings across the country, including six in Jammu and Kashmir.
Besides the general public, these meetings will target opinion-makers and influential personalities from different walks of life.
So far two meetings have been held in Udhampur and Kathua and going by the response, it has been decided to organise four more such meetings, a source in the party said.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh had addressed the meetings in Kathua and Udhampur, the source said, adding that three more meetings are scheduled for this month.
Union Ministers V K Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are also scheduled to address the meetings. Naqvi is scheduled to speak on October 3 in Kargil, while Singh will speak in Doda.
A big meeting is also planned to be held after September 25, so far its date is not finalised but perhaps it will be the biggest among all the meetings planned for Jammu and Kashmir, a source in the party said.
One meeting each is also being planned at Baramulla and Anantnag as the state unit has proposed to organise the meeting at these two locations, the source said.
Party sources said buoyed by the response the BJP units in other states have received from the public in favour of abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the central leadership has decided to increase the number of such meetings.
It was decided to organise meetings at 20 locations across Gujarat, but now the response is such a meeting will be held in each assembly constituency, the sources said.
Similarly 19 meetings were earlier planned in Tamil Nadu but now it will be held in 31 locations across the state, the sources said.
The party had formed a committee to carry out this campaign. It includes Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Dharmendra Pradhan and Jitendra Singh.
Besides them, former Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, party’s MP from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal and MP Tejaswi Surya are members of this committee.
The panel is chaired by BJP working president J P Nadda, and party general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh, vice-president Baijayant Panda and its national secretary Y Satya Kumar are also its members.
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