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news details
Civil society asserts, draws Govt's attention to miserable plight of Jammu
Demand for autonomous regional council
11/2/2018 10:12:28 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Nov 2: Civil society of Jammu has started asserting. Only a couple of days before the accession day at least 50 prominent citizens, including retired judges, bureaucrats, police officials and academics urged the Prime Minister and the Governor to officially celebrate the accession day on October 26. It was the first-ever initiative taken by the Jammu civil society to attract the attention of the top constitutional functionaries to that historic day.
Now, one of the leading members of the Jammu civil society has drawn the attention of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor Satya Pal Malik to the discriminatory policies being pursued by the government to hurt the Jammu's legitimate democratic rights. Some of the grievances of the people of Jammu to which the Jammu civil society has drawn the attention are:
1. "Out of the recent selection of 48 Junior AEO (OM & RBA categories) made by Services Selection Board (SSB), Jammu got 5 posts, Ladakh one and remaining 42 posts went to Kashmir. Such brazen regional disparities in selection for Govt jobs rightly led to loss of faith in these bodies with growing demand for separate PSC and SSB for Jammu". There are umpteen other instances which show that Jammu's share in the vital job sector is just negligible.
Earlier on October 28, senior Congress leader and former minister Sham Lal Sharma had alleged that that the PDP-BJP government in the state had ignored the unemployed educated youth of Jammu province. He had said that 90 per cent jobs were going to Kashmir and Jammu's share in the job sector was a paltry 10 per cent.
2. "The continued political disempowerment due to 'ban' on delimitation of constituencies till the publication of the first census after 2026 is yet another strong irritant in Jammu which too is not addressed by both these Governments".
It bears recalling that it was the 29th Constitutional Amendment Section 47 (3) of J&K Constitution of 2002 that banned delimitation of constituencies in J&K. It was moved by the Farooq Abdullah Government and supported by all political parties, including the BJP also. All the 8 BJP MLAs had supported the anti-democratic and anti-Jammu amendment.
3. It was in 1995 that the J&K delimitation commission released its report. As per its recommendations, Kashmir got 46 seats, Jammu only 37 and Ladakh a paltry 4. Kashmir got excessive and preponderant share of representation despite the fact that the number of voters in Jammu was more as compared to Kashmir, Jammu's land area was two-time that of Kashmir and that bulk of the Jammu's area was inaccessible, and even treacherous. The Commission, in fact, subverted the criteria laid down by the People's Representation Act to hurt Jammu and Ladakh and perpetuate Kashmiri domination over the state legislature, which discusses and decides questions of supreme importance to the happiness and well-being of the people.
It is important to note that during the 2002 Assembly elections, the number of voters in Jammu was 31, 06, 114 and 28, 84,841 of Kashmir. In other words, Jammu had 2.11 lakh more voters as compared to Kashmir.
The Jammu civil society has pointed out that ten out of 37 assembly segments in Jammu have more than one lakh electorate as against 5 such constituencies in Kashmir. Gandhi Nagar constituency in Jammu is the largest constituency. It has 1, 68,643 voters. After Gandhi Nagar, Jammu West is the second largest assembly segment. It has 153540 voters. The Jammu civil society has also drawn attention of the authorities to what it calls "substantial gap in lowest electors in a constituency with Gurez having 17554 voters in Kashmir and minimum of 41506 voters in Bani in Jammu" and said, and very rightly, that the "average electors in Jammu segments is 83, 000, as against 55,000 voters in Kashmir" and asked "can't this be rationalized to restore the balance of political power in both regions?"
The civil society has also urged the PM and the Governor to address the problems being faced by the refugees from PoJK and Pakistan, saying theirs is a human problem and demanded state holiday on the birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh. In addition, it has expressed grave concern over the illegal settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu and asked how was it that they were able to set up their own colonies, markets and madrasas in Jammu and obtain Aadhaar Cards, Voter I-Cards, Ration Cards and PRCs.
The civil society has expressed the view that time has come to set up Autonomous Regional Council to end discrimination against the people of Jammu province.
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