Jammu: Two prominent leaders of JK Apni Party Pranav Shagotra District President Jammu and Irfan Naqib today rejoined Congress party in the presence of JKPCC President G A Mir, Working President Raman Bhalla, Vice President Mula Ram Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, General Secretary PCC Yogesh Sawhney incharge District Jammu, General Secretary PCC Surinder Singh Channi besides Suresh Dogra and Rajveer Singh, in a simple function at PCC Hq Jammu. Pranav Shagotra was former President JK Youth Congress and presently District President Jammu and Irfan Naqib former District Congress President of Srinagar. They were enrolled as members of the Congress by the Incharge District President Jammu Yogesh Sawhney in the presence of senior leadership. Welcoming them back into the party JKPCC Chief G A Mir said that they have realized that after working in a national party, one cannot be comfortable and satisfied with any regional outfit. They were desirous of rejoining Congress for quite some time, so they are welcome to come back and work for strengthening secularism and fight the communal, fundamentalist and opportunist forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion, Mir claimed that Congress is committed to protect the rights and the land of Jammu and Kashmir's people, asserting secularism is a unique strength of the country and it should be strengthened. He said Jammu and Kashmir's development is a priority for the Congress party and the present dispensation has badly failed to protect the rights and the land of the people. Secularism is a unique strength of the country, he said, adding that all the citizens have the responsibility to strengthen it. Jammu and Kashmir's socio-economic development is the focal point of Congress. He said that Congress is alive to the predicaments suffered by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and will leave no stone unturned to raise them at all appropriate forums to get them addressed.
Mir further said being representative of the people’s aspirations, the party will raise the issues confronting the people at all forums for their mitigation. He said that the party functionaries, DDCs are knocking every door to get the issues faced by the people redressed. “Our party has long been recognized with the wishes and aspirations of the people. Party’s achievements in terms of empowering people, laying the foundations of democracy, watering of secular ideals, and ushering in a balanced and well-nuanced development in all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir is embedded in the collective memory of our people. It was Congress that transformed the fate of people from that of abject poverty to that of opulence. Our leadership perpetuated the idea that people are the real source of power and the elected representatives are meant to serve the people,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhalla said that in every successive decade, the party donned different roles to protect and safeguard the interests of the people of J&K. Our pro-poor, pro workers, pro agriculturalist, progressive ideology and our commitment to people first are what make us a durable and surviving party in the sub-continent. The people in every part of J&K, it goes without saying, are waiting with bated breath to see the return of a popular government, democratic set-up, empowerment of institutions and stability in the region,” Bhalla said. “The efforts of successive Congress led governments in achieving social cohesion, equity and equality gave massive developmental dividends to people in all sectors. Our distinctive secular and socialist ideology gave clarity to our vision of development, clarity serving people with an inclusive governance approach,” he said.
Bhalla further observed that today the people of JK are beseeching for inclusive development policies to bridge the growing socio-economic divide, soaring unemployment, widespread development deficit and pervasive unaccountability. Of late people have understood that there can be no substitute for Congress,” he added. “There has been no headway on any project in the area. BJP Govt was not able to keep up with the good work done during Congress tenure . Almost all the infra-projects have been stalled and left mid-way. There has been no augmentation of public services, health services and sanitation works in the areas for last seven years. The local populace has been left to fend for them; the artisans and unemployed youth are particularly bearing the brunt of policy paralysis of the incumbent JK administration,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, JKPCC Vice President Mulla Ram asked the Centre to restore the dignity and honour of the J&K by granting Statehood, besides restoring democratic rights to the people of J&K. He also termed the Congress Party only unifying force capable enough to defeat maneuvering to divide people on the basis of their region or religion aiming to gain political mileage on the part of BJP. He said that efforts to weaken the Congress Party will be thwarted while terming it(Congress) a true representative of the people credited of having rendered remarkable service to the Nation during 75 years post-independence. He urged the people to rise to the occasion to oppose the wrong policies of the Centre towards J&K. He said that we will not compromise with the rights of the people. There is strong resentment among the people with regard to BJP Govt’s policies. Congress will fight for the protection of the rights of the locals and we will not allow anyone from outside to snatch bread and butters from the locals.”
JKPCC Chief Spokesman Ravinder Sharma in his address said that unemployment had reached alarming proportions in J&K. "We cautioned the present administration to take note of the situation as frustration is on the rise among educated youth," the Congress leader said. Sharma urged the government to generate more employment for the locals and said, "The Congress has always stood by the people of Jammu and Kashmir but the BJP has failed to address their legitimate aspirations. Words alone won't suffice to improve the situation on the ground." Sharma said government has failed to live up to the spirit of accommodation and reconciliation towards realisation of the legitimate political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “The projects which are going on in Jammu and Kashmir should have the share of the locals in majority and local skilled/unskilled unemployed youth should be given employment in these developmental projects,” he added.
District Jammu Congress President Yogesh Sawhney speaking on the occasion, said that today democracy in the union territory is facing onslaught from no other than the ruling party itself. Ideally, political and ideological differences should have been put aside while dealing with the sensitive region," he said. The major stress of the government should have been on assuaging misery of the unemployed youth who have grown up in conflict.He said that Congress will ensure that the people get their rights fulfilled and no discrimination is made to them.“We will not allow any discrimination with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the jobs will be ensured for the local youth only. Statehood is the major demand of the people from both the regions as they feel disempowered with the snatching of their Constitutional right. He said that Congress will not allow demographic change in Jammu and Kashmir in any case and will ensure that the people are not deprived of their Constitutional rights.He further said “We believe that the developmental work should be taken up in hand in all the villages and far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir.”