Jammu looks to Omar for development


Jammu : People in this Hindu-majority region of Jammu and Kashmir hope that the new National Conference-Congress government will take care of their interests.

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But some fear that Jammu will face “political alienation” after 11 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members were elected to a hung state legislative assembly.

The people hope the new coalition government announced Tuesday will not nurture political vendetta and take care of Jammu interests.

Of the 87 assembly constituencies in the state, Jammu has 37. The region also elected 13 Congress legislators. The remaining seats were shared by the National Conference, the Panthers Party (PP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and independents.

The BJP increased its tally from one in 2002 and some analysts feel it was is due to sentiments fuelled by the Amarnath land agitation.

Kuldeep Dogra, a student of political Science in Jammu University, said: “The National Conference-Congress government led by Omar Abdullah can take care of Jammu’s welfare. I do not understand how 11 legislators of the BJP would take Jammu forward.”

Hari Krishan Baru, a retired government employee living in the heart of the city, feared Jammu’s mandate in favour of the BJP might go “waste”.

“No one is sure how these legislators will perform. Jammu has already suffered for long and I hope that this mandate does not add to our miseries.”

Om Prakash Gupta, a young businessman in Jammu, however feels that the coalition headed by Omar Abdullah “is the best (option) for Jammu now”.

But newly elected BJP legislator from Jammu west constituency, Chaman Lal Gupta is confident that his party would work for the cause of Jammu.

“It should be clear to all that opposition is as important as ruling parties in democracy. We will strongly pursue our agenda that was promised to the people of Jammu.”

About the new coalition government, Gupta wondered how such parties which were “die hard enemies” could join hands for the sake of “grabbing power”.

The former minister of state of defence in the BJP-led government, Gupta said: “Congress arrested Sheikh Abdullah and placed him behind bars for years together and then they got Farooq Abdullah ousted from power in 1984.

“Now they are again forming alliance after Abdullah has stated number of times their alliance with the Congress in the late 1980s was a mistake.”