Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the CPI(M) on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the BJP over its public outreach programme in the Union Territory, saying “the move to parachute 36 ministers is a propaganda in panic mode as the [saffron] party has failed on every count throughout the country”.
“What is the need for the BJP ministers to visit J&K when the government claims everything is normal? Reality is that they want to sell Kashmir’s ‘normalcy’ and ‘all is well’ story for those in mainland India who are ignorant about Kashmir’s ground realities,” senior CPI(M) leader and former legislator M Y Tarigami said in a statement here.
Reacting to the statement of Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Srinagar that his government’s “outreach programme is aimed at resolving all the issues” confronting people in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the visit is “nothing but a hoax”.
“Did the BJP government assess what has befallen on people of J&K after abrogation of Article 370? How the economy of J&K got shattered due to its misadventure,” Tarigami said, adding that the abrogation of Article 370 was an “assault” on the Constitution of India.
In the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, provisions and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into UTs in August last year, the Centre launched a major week-long public outreach programme on January 18 to make people aware of the benefits of the move and to disseminate information about the implementation of its policies and programmes for the overall development of Jammu and Kashmir.
“If the BJP claims that its misadventures will bring development to J&K, let it put its report card for last six years in Parliament. Since 2014, the BJP is in power and what has it done for the development of J&K?” the senior CPI(M) leader said.
He said the political activities of all other parties other than the BJP have come to a standstill in J&K for the last six months.
“Almost all the political leaders are either under detention or their activities have been restricted. In such a situation, parachuting Union ministers to J&K and trying to project all is well theory is nothing but a sham,” the CPI(M) leader said.
He said internet services continue to remain snapped and the BJP claims its ministers would make people aware about the schemes of the central government.
“The parachuted ministers are inaugurating those projects which had been sanctioned before 2014,” Tarigami said, adding “Where was the BJP government and its ministers when horticulture in Kashmir and agriculture in Jammu suffered massive losses due to heavy snowfall in the Valley in November and rainfall in Jammu?”
“Why did the BJP government forget about development that time when farmers of J&K were crying?” he asked and said almost three months have passed since, but even proper assessment of losses has not been done so far.
He claimed that the people are eking out a tough existence in Kashmir.
“Daily wagers are not able to find work to feed their families. Thousands of businesses cannot pay their staff or keep them on their rolls. 'Shikara-walas' (boatmen) of Dal Lake, pony-walas of Gulmarg, handicraft sellers and hoteliers, their staff and their suppliers are facing the worst crisis since last August (when Centre abrogated the Article 370 and announced the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two UTs),” Tarigami said.
“More than the losses to the economy, job loss due to clampdown on internet services and restrictions is more worrying. According to a recent report of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, present disruption has resulted in loss of jobs of lakhs of people while J&K economy suffered losses worth thousands of crores,” he said.
The former MLA said the snowfall in early November caused losses worth thousands of crore to horticulture sector.
“Education sector has been worst affected as most of the schools, colleges and universities remain shut since early August last year,” the CPI(M) leader said.