NC welcomes Shah"s assurance to Paharis, AAP says BJP failed litmus test

  • | Wednesday | 5th October, 2022

Jammu, Oct 5 (PTI) National Conference leader Rattan Lal Gupta Wednesday welcomed Union Home Minister Amit Shah"s assurance of reservation to the Pahari community but accused him of "cooking up unfounded stories and twisting historical facts" over the role of three families in Jammu and Kashmir.At his first public rally in the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Shah, in his 27-minute speech at Showkat Ali stadium in Baramulla district, trained his guns at leaders from opposition parties NC, PDP and Congress with frequent references to the "three families", "Mufti and company" and "Abdullah and sons".The home minister blamed Abdullahs (National Conference), Muftis (PDP) and Nehru-Gandhi (Congress) for the "lack of development" in Jammu and Kashmir as they ruled the erstwhile state for most of the years since the country"s independence.Later, in a statement, National Conference provincial president Gupta said, "The struggle initiated by NC president Farooq Abdullah for the Pahari community"s rights in 1983 has finally reached its logical conclusion in 2022, with the Union home minister assuring reservation to the community.Shah on Tuesday announced that the Gujjar, Bakerwal and Pahari communities in Jammu and Kashmir will get reservation benefits in accordance with the recommendations of the Justice Sharma Commission which examined the issue of quota.Gupta, however, said the NC would not tolerate if the "dole" to the Paharis was given at the cost of genuine rights of Gujjars and Bakerwals."The NC leadership has continuously taken up the matter of Paharis with the Centre since 1983. The endeavour has finally led to relief for the community, which is a welcome step," he said."The NC was also expecting an employment package for the youngsters of Jammu and Kashmir from the visiting home minister," the senior NC leader said.Reacting to Shah"s "three families" remark, Gupta said the Abdullah family served the people of Jammu and Kashmir for more than seven decades."No one in the country is so big in stature to cook up unfounded stories for the sake of political mileage by twisting historical facts, which are unchallengeable and true to the hilt," he said.Gupta also accused the home minister of trying to take credit for five medical colleges, saying they were sanctioned by the NC regime headed by former chief minister Omar Abdullah."The BJP has bluffed and misled the people of Jammu region on every front, and that is why it has failed to win the hearts of Kashmiri people," he said.Senior AAP leader and former minister Harsh Dev Singh also the slammed BJP-led government. He said it has failed the litmus test as no mention of any of the burning issues of Jammu and Kashmir was made in the home minister"s rallies which showed "a completely insensitive approach".Singh said there were large-scale expectations and hopes from the home minister"s visit and people were waiting for some big announcements but there were none except the promise for the ST status to Paharis.Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a phase of uncertainty with rising unemployment, poor development, issue of daily wagers, NHM employees, vocational trainers, SPOs, home guards, teachers, special package employees and Kashmiri Pandit employees among others which require immediate attention of the government, the AAP leader said. PTI TAS IJT

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