BJP Leaders Face Ire During Rajouri Visit

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina and MP Jugal Kishore on Monday faced the ire of agitating businessmen during a visit to different hospitals in the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

The Rajouri unit of the Congress accused the BJP leaders of violating the COVID-19 SOPs for “cheap publicity” although the BJP president defended the visit, saying they are touring different hospitals to inspect the facilities being provided to COVID-19 patients and bring any shortcoming to the notice of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.

“We voted for BJP en masse but nothing changed on the ground… do something good for the society and do not ignore the people,” a local leader of the business community said to the visiting BJP leaders at Sunderbani market in Rajouri district – the home town of Raina.

Amid slogans of ”shame shame”, the businessman alleged that a poor shopkeeper is being slapped with an FIR and a fine of Rs 5,000 if he opens his shop for a few hours to sustain his family during this pandemic.

“Have we voted to get FIRs registered against us,” the agitated businessman asked, claiming there is no one to listen to them.

However, the protesting shopkeepers dispersed peacefully and later the BJP leaders visited Government Medical College (GMC) hospital Rajouri and other health institutions where they took stock of the facilities being provided to the COVID patients.

The Rajouri District Congress Committee (DCC)described the visit of the BJP leaders as a “cheap publicity stunt” and said the COVID-19 protocols and social distancing norms were violated by them.

“The BJP leaders came for a cheap publicity stunt after neglecting the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch as far as the health sector is concerned,” DCC president and former minister Shabir Ahmad Khan and other senior leaders of the party said in a joint statement.

Referring to the Sunderbani protest, the statement said the BJP leaders faced the wrath of angry people for their “lies and neglect” as the people of two border districts are facing hardships due to the alleged failure of BJP leadership in the timely creation of the required health facilities.

“The MP and BJP leaders could have invited the principal GMC and medical superintendent and administration for discussion regarding the health facilities in the Dak bungalow but indulged in photo opportunities and the drama to get cheap publicity, after more than hundreds of people have lost their lives,” the statement said.

The Congress leaders said the GMC Rajouri lacks facilities in terms of manpower and logistics due to “utter neglect”, while the sanctioned 3,000 LPM oxygen plant is yet to made operational and the recently commissioned 1000 LPM oxygen plant does not cater to the need of the hospital and the present requirements of two districts.

“There is no trained staff to make the ventilator supported beds to be fully operational as a result patients suffer,” the statement said.

Interacting with media persons outside the GMC Rajouri, the J-K BJP president said the second wave of the pandemic has affected all parts of the country and his party workers are risking their lives to provide assistance to the people.

“We are in a grave situation and trying to reach out to the people braving the risk to our lives. We are visiting different hospitals to inspect the facilities and look for any shortcoming so that the issue is raised timely with the Lt governor for redressal,” he said, responding to a question about complaints of SOP violations against them.

He said BJP workers are driven by the feeling of serving humanity and it is because of the efforts of the BJP that the GMC Rajouri is functional with an oxygen plant to provide succour to the people of the border districts who otherwise had to visit Jammu for specialised treatment.

“This is not the time for politics, to level allegations and counter the allegations,” he said and saluted the doctors, para-medical staff and other corona warriors for their service to the society.

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