Jammu eyes declaration of holidays on Sep 23, Oct 26

Special Correspondent
Jammu, Aug 7
Before forming coalition government with PDP in 2014 after winning historic 25 seats from Jammu region, BJP promised sky to the people of this region including its demand of declaration of holidays on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh falling on September 23 and Accession Day falling on October 26 but unfortunately, the saffron brigade failed to get it done on record thus inviting criticism.
However, the time has once again come and Jammu this time is eyeing the same in the Governor headed state hoping that the two major occasions, which have historic importance for the people of this region, will surely be declared as holidays in respect and tribute to the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.
“BJP claimed that Jammu and Ladakh were always ignored by the PDP when they were out of power either before government formation or after pulling out of the government,” a political analyst said adding that the BJP has again started blowing the bugle of Maharaja Hari Singh birth anniversary and Accession Day to gain sympathy of Jammu people and revive its lost sheen.
Although, BJP after calling it a day with the PDP, triggered an exercise of announcing five in-charge Principals of five Government Medical College in Jammu and Kashmir, laid foundation of much awaited AIIMS at Vijaypur in Samba district and specifying Rs 1.3 crore out of MPs, MLAs and MLCs funds for the development of Kargil district claiming that it was the utmost requirement, they said and added, “will BJP succeed in getting state holidays announced and added in official calendar of the Jammu and Kashmir Government on birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh and on Accession Day ?”
People of Jammu had been fighting for this demand since the day both PDP-BJP formed the government.
“When the BJP was in opposition at the time of PDP-Congress and NC-Congress regimes in the state, they raised the issue of seeking holidays on these two occasions, which are matter of pride for the people of Jammu but now it is time for them (saffron brigade) to pass the litmus test and restore the honour of Jammu,” said experts.
They however, rued that if Martyrs’ Day (July 13) can be a state holiday then why not the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh and Accession day due to which Jammu and Kashmir presently is an integral part of India.
“If BJP cannot do it this time when they are having Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed dispensation in the Centre then they cannot get it done in future,” they added.
“My personal belief is that if the BJP succeeds in getting holidays declared on September 13 and October 26, the people of Jammu will forgive them for their ‘wrongs’ they had committed in former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti headed regime,” they maintained.
September 23 is being celebrated as birth anniversary of last ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh, who acceded with the Union of India making Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of the country.
Accession Day, commemorating 26 October 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, in which Jammu and Kashmir joined the Dominion of India.
“It is do-or-die situation for the BJP,” sources said.
According to the sources, Mehbooba Mufti as chief minister when in chair allegedly refused to clear the proposal of declaring holidays on these occasions and file remained in the pending shelves.
In 2017, the Senior PDP leader and MLC Vikramaditya Singh had also written an open letter to the former Chief Minister demanding declaration of September 23 as state holiday as mark of respect for Maharaja Hari Singh.