BJP Hoists Tricolor; PDP Says ‘Day Of Mourning’

BJP activists led by party’s national general secretary Tarun Chug hoist a national flag in Srinagar | KO photo by Abid Bhat

Srinagar: The BJP Thursday celebrated the second anniversary of the Article 370 revocation by holding Tiranga rallies and hoisting the national flag across Jammu and Kashmir, while the PDP termed it “a day of mourning for J&K” and took out protest marches.

National Conference (NC) president and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah said his party will continue its struggle for the restoration of the “abridged” constitutional and democratic rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Romasia Rafiq, the BJP’s Municipal Councillor from Anantnag district’s Khanabal, kicked off the party’s celebrations in the valley by hoisting the Tricolour near the Degree College at Khanabal. She was accompanied by around 200 party workers.

Bandipora BJP district chief Abdul Rehman Tikri was joined by a dozen party workers as he hoisted the national flag at the party office.

Block Development Council (BDC) member Sushma Nehru along with 20 other people hoisted the national flag at Panzulla Panchayat Ghar in Baramulla district.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh, who is also the party affairs in-charge for the union territories of J&K and Ladakh, said one of the more significant achievements of the 2019 decision was that it dealt a big blow to the divisive and terrorist forces.

Addressing the party workers in Srinagar, Chugh said that after many decades, the Pakistan-sponsored militancy seems to be on the back foot. Anti-national feelings among people have been replaced by the ideas of inclusive development and progress, he said.

Chugh came down heavily on the Gupkar alliance parties for “trying to disrupt the positive narrative in J&K”.

In Srinagar, wearing black bands, scores of PDP leaders and activists, led by party president Mehbooba Mufti, took out a protest march from the party’s head office near the Sher-e-Kashmir Park.

They shouted slogans against the Centre’s August 5, 2019 decisions and in favour of a “resolution of the Kashmir issue”. The protesters were, however, stopped by police near GPO and turned back.

Speaking to reporters, Mehbooba said, “Today is a day of mourning for J-K. It is unfortunate that the BJP is celebrating across the country, while Kashmir is mourning,” she said.

“The existence of the people of J-K will remain only when we all will together restore our constitutional position and then resolve the Kashmir issue by forcing the Government of India to talk to the people of J-K to address the internal dimension and talk with Pakistan as well to address the external dimension,” she said.

“There is no other option. They are already talking to Pakistan resulting in the ceasefire which in turn resulted in decline in infiltration,” she said.

Mehbooba said her party is of the view that J-K has to become a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan. She said the BJP will have to take back the decisions taken on August 5, 2019.

In Jammu also, pressing for the revocation of the August 5, 2019 decision to withdraw J&K’s special status and divide it into two union territories, the party took out a protest rally from its office in Gandhi Nagar and tried to move deeper into the city, but was stopped by police.

They observed the day as a ‘black day’ and held anti-government protests.

They alleged no positive change has come in J&K since August 2019. “Militancy is going on. Stone-pelting is on. Violence is on. Killing of civilians and political workers is on. No development has taken place. None of MNC has come,” said a leader.

Also in the Jammu winter capital city, led by J&K Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Arun Dev Singh, hundreds of BJP youth activists marched carrying the Tricolour and raising patriotic slogans of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai.

The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) batted strongly for the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding of early assembly elections.

Back in Srinagar, NC chief Farooq Abdullah told a meeting of party functionaries at its headquarters, “The party’s position on the unilateral, unconstitutional and undemocratic decisions taken on August 5, 2019 will never change and the party will keep up with its struggle for the restoration of J-K people’s abridged constitutional and democratic rights.”

What Has Changed For Good In J&K

The Jammu and Kashmir Congress on Thursday asked the Centre as to what has changed for betterment of people of the erstwhile state and the nation, two years after revocation of Article 370 of the constitution.

It also said that the promise of 50,000 government jobs in three-month time and opening of private sector for jobs was a big bluff with the educated youth of J&K.

“What has changed for the benefit and betterment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, two years after the August 5, 2019 decision? Instead, J&K has lost its identity, rights and protection available to its residents, which are available in various other states in the country too, in one or other form, former minister and J&K Congress vice president, Raman Bhalla told reporters here.

“The militant activities continue to be increasing and terrorism is spreading its tentacles to Jammu region as well, he claimed.

The Congress leader also said that local traders, contractors, businessmen and transporters were losing business to outside residents, especially in Jammu region.

The refusal to restore statehood so far itself indicates that things have not normalised in the region , he said.

“All claims and adjectives used to disband and downgrade the historical state into UTs have proved to be a failed experiment. People are yearning for statehood with protection for land and jobs to the residents, Bhalla added.

The Centre had on August 5, 2019 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union territories.

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