Describing state subject laws under Article 35A as a commitment of the Constitution of India to Dogras and Duggarland, National Conference (NC), Sunday warned that any move to scrap it with ulterior political motives would be resisted with full might by the people of Jammu, irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
“Dogras will fight for upholding this constitutional proviso and if any course correction is needed at all, it is to identify and deport the fake state subjects, who have exploited and usurped the legitimate rights and avenues of sustenance of self-respecting Dogras and were now conniving with the BJP to dispense with Article 35A,” Provincial President NC, Devender Singh Rana said while talking to reporters here.
He accused the BJP of negating far-sight and political sagacity of Maharaja Hari Singh Ji, who had brought state subject laws in 1927 to save his people, especially the Dogras from perpetual subjugation of affluent businessmen from outside the state. The time stands testimony to his wisdom that enabled the Dogras to retain identity, heritage and economic interests, notwithstanding certain wrongs committed by vested interest in facilitating non-state subjects settle down here clandestinely.
“The relevance of Article 35A is more crucial now than never ever in the past ninety years”, he said and assailed the self-styled Messiahs of Jammu for engineering machinations to deprive Jammuities of their rights.
Rana took the BJP head-on for denouncing and demeaning upholders of Article 35A as anti-national.
“These so-called hyper-nationalists were undermining nationalistic credentials of the Duggarland, which is actually the land of warriors who have offered supreme sacrifices for defending the integrity and sovereignty of the nation”, he said, adding that if the people want safeguard to their constitutional rights they can’t be belittled by dubbing as anti-national. He challenged the BJP to justify repeal of Article 35A and to convince people how it is going to benefit Jammu.
“In fact, Jammu will face the main brunt in the event of scrapping Article 35A, as the jobs and business avenues will be usurped by the settlers from outside, in view of the close proximity of this region with the negibouring states and prevailing conducive atmosphere for businesses and other avocations”, Rana said, fearing that the locals of Jammu—the Dogra Mahajans, Brahamins, Rajputs, Khatris, Scheduled Caste, Dogra Muslims, Sikhs, Christians besides other segments –will be rendered as second class citizens.
To a question, Rana cautioned the diversionary tactics of the BJP leaders by raking up the issue of Rohingyas.
“BJP is in government at the Centre and the State and it is intriguing that they are not taking a call on this sensitive issue and were instead generating passions by hoodwinking public opinion”, he said, asking who is stopping New Delhi and Srinagar from deporting Rohingyas under the Foreign Nationals Act. The Rohingyas, he said, were settled by the Centre in Jammu. On their part, he said the NC leadership has time and again sought repatriation of illegal Rohingyas under Foreigners Act.
“Confusing Rohingyas with Article 35A reveals and reflects the weak stand of the BJP in doing away with the law enacted by Maharaja Hari Singh Ji”, he said, adding BJP is actually frustrated on the face of stiff resistance of the people towards repeal of this constitutional guarantee to the state subjects.
When asked about annoyance of the people over discrimination, Rana said that the BJP will have to answer all this. The party must read writing on the wall and try the gauge the public pulse.
He said the people of Jammu are genuinely angered over their aspirations being ignored by the BJP that they kept parroting the so-called Jammu cause and based their politics on alleged discrimination for the past seven decades. He decried the BJP for creating hysteria over discrimination but failing to address it when getting cradled into power.
To a question on alleged discriminatory approach towards Jammu vis a vis selections by the Public Service Commission to various categories of posts and admissions in various professional courses, Mr Rana said “The BJP must answer to the people why such discrepancies took place and what action followed against the perpetrators of discrimination”.
Rana advised the BJP to have some sort of introspection rather than indulging in anti-Jammu machinations, especially in the repeal of Article 35A by overt and covert means.