BJY: Politics over KPs takes center-stage, Opposition targets BJP for using Pandits as ‘political weapon’

Arteev Sharma. Updated: 1/25/2023 1:45:47 AM Front Page

Rahul Gandhi launches frontal attack, Mehbooba joins chores; BJP yet to counter Oppn charges

Jammu, January 24: Politics over the “plights” of displaced Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) have taken center-stage since the Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY), being undertaken by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, entered Jammu and Kashmir on January 19—the day when around 3.5 lakh KPs were driven out of Valley due to killings and terror by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in 1990.
Opposition parties, including Congress, have trained guns at the BJP for “humiliating” and “exploiting” KPs to settle its “political interests” and asked the saffron party to apologise to the community for their "plights".
Rahul Gandhi, who has launched a frontal attack against the BJP for “using Kashmiri Pandits as political weapon for winning elections”, alleged that “grave injustice” was being meted out to KPs by the BJP government at the Centre.
“I met the delegation of Kashmir Pandits who told me that the BJP was using them as a political weapon and forcibly sending them to Kashmir where they face the threat of targeted killings. They said whatever good had happened to them was done during the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government,” Gandhi scion said while responding to a volley of queries from media-persons at Jajjar Kotli on Tuesday.
Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi had asked Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to apologise to the KP community for telling the Prime Minister’s package employees that they should not seek alms.
“Injustice is being meted out to KPs by this government… I was surprised to know that their delegation was told by the Lieutenant Governor that they should not seek alms,” Gandhi had said at the end of the day’s yatra at Satwari.
The PDP president Mehbooba Mufti too has stepped up attacks against the BJP for the “humiliation and pain” of Kashmiri Pandits.
“The humiliation & pain Kashmiri Pandits are going through under the current government is conveyed well by this woman. It is the real Kashmir Files. Question stands whether BJP will promote this version or not?” Mehbooba said while sharing a video of a KP woman highlighting the 'plights' of KPs on Twitter.
Being cornered over the issue, the BJP has apparently decided to maintain a silence by not reacting to the statement of the Congress leader and PDP president. Besides, no major KP outfit has also countered the Congress and PDP for “politicizing” the issue.
Pertinently, around 4,000 KPs have been working in different departments in Kashmir Valley after their selection under the PM Development Package announced in 2008. The package has two major components — 6,000 jobs for the youth from the community and building as many accommodation units for the recruited employees.
A number of the employees have left Kashmir Valley after one of their colleagues, Rahul Bhat, was selectively killed inside his office in Budgam district on May 12 last year. The PMDP employees of KP community have been demanding their relocation to safer places.
In 2008, a Rs 1610-crore resettlement and rehabilitation package was announced by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a public rally in Jammu but its implementation faced several initial hiccups due to the fragile security situation for three years.
By the end of 2010, when the NC-Congress government in J&K, headed by Omar Abdullah finally executed the plan, about 3,500 youths returned to the Valley under employment, but they were forced to live in a ghetto-like settlement, regretting their decision till now.
Updated On 1/25/2023 2:14:21 AM

Comment on this Story