Srinagar: Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Vikar Rasool Wani on Thursday said the Centre should immediately restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and hold Assembly polls here.
He also accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre of creating “dictatorship” in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We demand immediate restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding of Assembly polls,” Wani told reporters at the PCC headquarters here.
The PCC chief, however, said National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah has “rightly said that they (government) have no intention of restoring statehood” to the Union Territory.
“The BJP has created dictatorship here. People are being harassed and intimidated in the name of bulldozers or the Public Safety Act. Anyone who raises his voice is threatened with arrest,” he alleged.
Wani said while Jammu and Kashmir is already reeling under acute unemployment, the government is adding to the woes of people through demolitions and evictions under the garb of retrieving state land.
“For example, in Ramban, the administration has sealed 60 shops. It means 120 people have lost their livelihood. Today, Jammu and Kashmir is number one in unemployment.
“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are being pushed into poverty. They are bringing down the price of horticulture produce, which has forced some growers to throw their apples into the river or they did not pick the fruit at all. The grower says the price has been lowered to such an extent that the production cost is much more than the returns,” the Congress leader said.
Later, Wani welcomed several leaders and workers from the BJP, the People’s Conference and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) into the Congress party.
“For the last five-six months, a large number of leaders and workers are joining the Congress. After Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, we have received a flood of requests from people to be inducted into the party,” he said.