No rift with PDP over rehab of Gujjars, says BJP

After a senior PDP minister walked out of the cabinet meet held here on Wednesday, the ruling party’s alliance partner, BJP clarified that the two parties are not divided over the rehabilitation of Gujjars in Jammu.

“Bharitiya Janta Party (BJ), is not against the rehabilitation of state subject Gujjars, Ashok Koul, BJP’s sate general secretary Friday. He said said that action should be taken against those who have illegally encroached forest land. “BJP is not against the Gujjars. We want that Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir should be properly rehabilitated. But there are also nomads from Punjab against whom government should take the action. These (non-residents) can’t be rehabilitated in the state,” Koul said.

 He claimed that there are no differences between PDP, BJP over the eviction of Gujjars. “Some leaders might have given the statements over the eviction of Gujjars to please a particular community, but the coalition partners PDP and BJP have no differences in this regard.

 Koul added that it is not an emotional and religious issue. “We want that the government should evacuate the forest land from encroachers,” he said.

Commenting on the eviction of Gujjars at Samba, he said these people are being rehabilitated with a better alternative.

“This is not the first case where people are being evacuated. Many people are being evacuated at so many places. Why is there so much of hue and cry when few families of particular community who are living on forest land are to be removed,” Koul added.

 It has been already reported that to clear land for establishing an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), around 250 families of the Gujjar community were being evacuated from about 1200 kanals of land by the administration of Vijaypur area in Jammu.

 Interestingly, BJP minister Abdul Gani Kohli Wednesday had opposed the proposed eviction of Gujjar families from Samba.

“Both I and Zulfikar Sahab raised the issue in the cabinet. I am against eviction of Gujjars. It is a humanitarian issue. Where will they go if they are evicted from there,” Kohli said.

However, Abdul Gani Kohli claimed that his party supports the proper rehabilitation of Gujjars.

“I do not differ with the party on the issue. We want that Gujjars should be properly rehabilitated. They should be given compensation for the losses they suffered in the 2014 floods,” Kohli said

Pertinently, PDP minister Choudhary Zulfkar Ali had staged a walkout from the recent cabinet meeting after he sparred with BJP ministers over proposed eviction of Gujjar families in Samba, Jammu. (KNS)



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