Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh was today heckled by the members of Rajput Sabha, an organization of the Dogras, over the state government’s “failure” to declare Maharaja Hari Singh’s birth anniversary as a state holiday.
The deputy chief minister was speaking at a function near the Tawi bridge in Jammu city after paying floral tributes to Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Hindu ruler of the state, on his birth anniversary today.
According to the reports, the deputy chief minister had to cut short his speech and was escorted out by a large contingent of police when some protesters encircled him.
Scores of people, including youths carrying saffron and black flags, raised slogans against Singh and the PDP-BJP coalition government. The protesters also heckled him while raising slogans against the BJP government and National Conference founder Shiekh Muhmmad Abdullah.
The protesters also demanded the minister’s resignation and accused the BJP of doing “dis-service” to the Jammu region.
Earlier on 14 September, Rajput activist which are also known as ‘Team Jammu’ had threatened to gheroa all the BJP ministers and MLA’s if 23 September is not declared a state holiday by the government.
“f this holiday is not announced, we will gheroa all the ministers and MLA’s of the BJP and we can go to any extent and government will be solely responsible for the outcome,” Zorawar Singh, President of Team Jammu had said during a press conference in Jammu.
Meanwhile, activists of Team Jammu has accused the BJP leaders of failing Jammuties and said that the ruling party has done dis-service to Jammu, which gave them 25 seats in the state elections.
“They have failed to address one of the major aspirations of the Dogras. Despite passage of a resolution, the BJP could not facilitate a holiday on Maharaja’s birthday. It is a shame,” one of the protestors, said.
Meanwhile, the city saw dozens of pro-Maharaja rallies today. Volunteers of Team Jammu celebrated the birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh all across Jammu Province and distributed sweets among people. Several programmes, including armed rallies, were organised in Jammu region to mark the 122nd birth anniversary of the state’s last autocratic Hindu ruler Maharaja Hari Singh,
Lawyers affiliated to the Jammu Bar Association stayed away from work and instead organised a programme within the Association’s premises to celebrate the contribution of the Maharaja.
Maharaja’s grandson and PDP lawmaker Vikramaditya Singh said the demand for public holiday will continue as the issue is linked to the “sentiment” of people in the Jammu region.
“Maharaja was a great leader and the entire Jammu region is united in its demand for a holiday to mark the birth anniversary of their beloved king,” Singh told reporters.