Unfulfilled Poll promises of coalition partners hurting people of state: Bhalla

4/4/2017

JAMMU: Congress and National Conference today jointly organized election campaign for parliamentary by-elections at Gangyal today and made a fervent appeal to migrant voters of the Srinagar and Anantnag Parliamentary constituencies to cast their votes in favour of Dr Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Ahmed Mir to strengthen secular forces. Former Congress Minister Raman Bhalla, former MLC Vijay Bakaya, Anil Dhar, Hira Lal Pandita, MK Yogi, NN Pandita, Gulam Qadir Bhat, Shadi Lal Pandita addressed the gathering.
Accusing BJP of having sold its every single slogan and its fundamentals for power, former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla today said it had proved that lust knew no bars, no red lines. With the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir tangled in controversies and policy paralysis creating pessimism in the state, 3.5 lakh displaced Kashmiri Pandits have lost hope of any concrete plan for their rehabilitation and resettlement in the Valley.More than 2 years after assuming charge, coalition partners are silent on the promises made in 'Agenda of the Alliance', the guiding document which binds two ideologically different parties. Nearly 2,000 youth employed under a package announced by the Congress-led UPA government in 2008 was implemented by then government led by Omar Abdullah between 2010 and 2012.The 'Agenda of the Alliance' had mentioned to take social and humanitarian initiatives to solve issue confronted the community which migrated en masse from the Valley after the eruption of insurgency in 1990, but no debate was initiated on how to take the first step in this direction.
"We have been hearing about proposals and plans, but nothing seems to have been done on the ground," said Bhalla."The state government has maintained total silence and the same old assurances are being given. The community expects the Centre to at least implement plans announced by the previous Congress-led government in 2008," he said. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs had mentioned giving financial assistance, jobs and transit and cluster accommodation for rehabilitation of Pandits, but not much headway was made."We expected the BJP to take some immediate steps to resolve our issues, but are hearing the same old rhetoric. Coalition partners are using their energy in unnecessary controversies," he said.
Instead of showing its authority in restoring their homeland to Pandits the Union Government also succumbed to the pressure of separatists and compromised over the issue by taking a lenient view on their return and rehabilitation and it never mustered will and courage to enforce the Constitutional authority over this issue.Instead of taking a strong stand on the Pandits issue and rehabilitating them in Valley with honour and dignity as has been claimed by the Government from time to time, it deliberately kept the issue on back burner for last two years together.
But in real sense there was no sincerity on the part of government towards these hapless people who don't constitute the vote bank of politicians and they all preferred to make this community a scapegoat for their vote politics, he added.
Bhalla said the announcement of Rs. 80,000 crore packages by Prime Minister Narendra Modi now seemed "mere eye wash and a political gimmick to appease his coalition partner". Hitting out at the PM for "playing a political gimmick" with the people of the state, he said from the day one Congress had been saying that Modi-led government "as expected was not going to address the issues of the flood victims". Bhalla claimed Rs. 34,000 crore package for J&K National Highway was already approved by the UPA government and the funds for mega projects cannot be linked with the package, saying that these were already part of the UPA government's developmental plan.
Bhalla said that the polls promises of BJP and PDP have proved to be mere bluffs and people are fed up with the policies and sheer opportunism of two parties.
Both the parties took the extreme positions on most of the emotional issues and exploited their respective constituencies to the hilt, with a false and deceptive promise to keep each other out of power, if voted in strength. The people could not see through their tactical game plan and gave BJP an unprecedented strength in Jammu while PDP gained on these slogans in Kashmir. What happened thereafter, when the two parties took a complete U-turn on their respective positions and promises to the people made during elections, as a result the people feel betrayed and cheated? The people want to teach both the parties, a lesson, for having taken their sentiments and emotions for a ride, in order to enter the corridors of power.
Bakaya speaking on the occasion said that with the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir tangled in controversies and policy paralysis creating pessimism in the state, 3.5 lakh displaced Kashmiri Pandits have lost hope of any concrete plan for their rehabilitation and resettlement in the Valley.