Jammu: Former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla on Friday stressed the need for preserving the “idea of India” by promoting and strengthening its inclusive ethos. He said Congress has shown the way during most testing times of history by upholding the spirit of communal harmony, which continues to remain its political philosophy. On the overall political situation in J&K, he said change can be brought about by Congress only. This was stated by him while addressing people of Narwal Bala Panchayat in Gandhi Nagar constituency. Prominent among those present on the occasion include Jatinder Chib BCC President, Ajaz Choudhary State Vice President Youth Congress JK, Sarpanch Sabia Choudhary, Gagan Bral, Harvinder Kour, Parasram , Kamla Dev, Anju Sharma,Paro Devi, Bholla Ram, Parvat, Raj Kumar beside others.
He urged the administration for stepping up development and strengthening of grievance redressal mechanism, as people were suffering on account of various services. He also sought special attention towards employment generation, keeping in view disenchantment among the educated unemployed youth.He blamed the Govt for failing the people of J&K, especially those living in the border, remote and backward areas. “The insensitive dispensation, which betrayed the people all over, virtually left the border dwellers in lurch,” he said. “We will have to undo the wrongs committed by the”, he said.He said the BJP has lost credibility as also moral authority to seek votes again by pretending messiahs of Jammu, as it failed in keeping up the commitments which they trampled hugely by ditching the people and compromising with their aspirations .
People in Jammu are fuming against Power Development Department (PDD) after receiving “inflated” electricity bills. Consumers here said the department in order to project good picture of its finances is using these tactics despite failing to tame Transmission and Distribution losses.PDD consumers from different parts of the Gandhi Nagar constituency alleged that the department has unilaterally revised agreements and increased tariff.They alleged that the department has sent power bills highly inflated. Bhalla demended government Amnesty Scheme for domestic electricity consumers.Bhalla regretted that with Jammu related issues pushed into the oblivion, while development got huge dent and Jammu pride received severe bruises, the BJP compromised on various flagship projects initiated by the previous government and jobs to deserving and meritorious unemployed just to remain in power. He said during the tenure of BJP partnered insensitive dispensation, Jammu was pushed to backwards in respect of development and implementation of various welfare schemes.
While attacking the NDA Government at the Centre, Bhalla said that since the change of guard happened in New Delhi, the prices of essential commodities have increased manifold. “The prices of basic amenities and eatables have increased and it has become difficult for not only the poor but also the middle class to afford them. The ever increasing inflation is taking a toll on the common masses of this country,” he said. Bhalla pointed out that there had been a four-fold rise in onion prices during the last three months which had rendered the popular vegetable beyond the reach of a common man. “The astounding rate of onions touching Rs 100 per kg under BJP rule has left masses ‘tear-eyed’. With LPG already being costlier, the soaring prices of vegetables and groceries have shattered the budget of a common household with housewives left dazed and confused”, Bhalla rued.People of several areas both rural and urban face extreme shortage of drinking water. While most of the areas remain without water supply scheme others get water which is far free from being fit enough for drinking purpose.
Most of the projects which were visualized under BJP Rule, did not get started and those which started did not meet their end is the trend of Jammu projects. Due to non serious approach of the Government, wasting precious public money and abandoning projects is the ultimate viable solution for the Government. In today’s world, public wants accountability not the usual lip service as layers of hypocrisy are daily peeled off on social and print media,Bhalla added. He insisted that the work on ‘Tawi riverfront’ on the lines of Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, an artificial lake and the cable car project should be completed soon besides restoration of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, reviving Jammu Haat and tapping tourism potential of Jammu. He said the economy in Jammu and Kashmir has been badly hit with all sectors — from handicrafts, tourism to transport are suffering.
While the present insensitive dispensation has plunged the State into unprecedented crisis, the development has come to a grinding halt and governance at the lowest ebb”, Bhalla said.The former Minister said lack of political direction has terribly impacted the administration that is seen wanting in every sector. In this context, he referred to the administrative breakdown, developmental paralysis and poor condition of utility services which have led to acute drinking water scarcity and frequent load shedding in most parts of Jammu. This has made the life of people, particularly in the Jammu region miserable. Similar is the scenario with respect to rations, provision of agriculture inputs to farmers and lack of basic minimum necessities to the people, Bhalla said, adding that the people are disillusioned and disenchanted with the present Government.He decried diversionary tactics being adopted by BJP to cover up their failures. “They are more talking politics and less attending to the woes of the people that have created a peculiar situation”, he said and referred to various contentious issues raked up by BJP to satiate their constituencies.
While the people have been left to fend for themselves, BJP indulging in real politics to escape responsibility, he maintained. Congress party established PR system in the country to decentralize and devolve powers to the lowest level with further strengthening the PRI’s through 73rd and 74th amendment under the leadership of late Rajiv Gandhi, which ensured reservation of 33% to women besides SC/STs as per population, in the grass root institutions of democracy. It was the result of Congress struggle that finally all good provisions of the Central legislation were incorporated in the State Panchayat laws under Congress regime.BJP rule witnessed erosion, encroachment and usurpation of routine power of Panchayats by ruling class making the existing Panchayat Raj system virtually defunct and non-existent,” Bhalla said here today.He said that the even developmental plans of Panchayats were altered, interfered and even MGNREGA and BADP funds were allocated without taking into confidence the panchayat members, thus encroaching upon the autonomy and normal functioning of Panchayats,Bhalla added.