Basohli in JK deliberately neglected by Congress representatives: Jitendra Singh

Jammu,  Union Minister and BJP Candidate for Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency Dr Jitendra Singh on Friday alleged that Basohli town in Jammu and Kashmir had been deliberately neglected by the Congress representatives, including its MLAs and MPs in the past.

Addressing a series of road side meetings and public rallies enroute from Kathua and culminating in Basohli, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Congress MLAs and MPs elected by the people of Basohli had occupied Ministerial berths for years together but instead of caring for their people, they followed the Kashmir-centric appeasement policy of their masters and thus themselves became a party to regional discrimination against the very constituency which had elected them.

Instead of being benefited by the MLAs or MPs who became Ministers in Congress governments, the people of Basohli had to pay the price for further worsening of their plight due to such opportunistic representatives, he added.

The Minister said, it is in the last 10 years under the BJP-led NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Basohli painting and Basohli Pashmina received GI Tag and earned worldwide reputation. Why could this not happen in over six decades of Congress rule, he asked.

Both Pashmina and Painting give Basohli a unique identity but the Congress leaders who apparently always claimed to be the protagonists of regional pride did not pursue this cause because they were more concerned about preserving their Ministerial berths, Dr Singh said.

It is under Prime Minister Modi that Basohli had received a network of road connectivity, as a result of which the travel time between Jammu and Basohli had considerably reduced bringing a lot of relief and convenience to daily commuters and ease of business for the industry.

He said that Basohli richly deserve the status of being designated as the “Heritage Town” for which the initiative has already been undertaken.

The Union Minister said, there is a proper procedure laid out for being conferred the status of Heritage Town and the recognition of status has to come from accredited agencies which will also happen under the Modi government.

Dr Singh said, BJP had been in favour of a separate hill district comprising Basohli and Billawar regions and we had taken up this cause even when we were in opposition.

The evidence of this is that in the BJP organisational structure, Basohli-Billawar enjoys the status of a separate hill district and we have a separate BJP District President for Kathua and a separate one for Basohli.

Considering the vast area of district Kathua, he said, there are logistic and practical problems faced by the inhabitants of this region to reach out to various administrative offices located or based in Kathua and part for the people living in remote villages and upper reaches of Basohli.

Dr Singh said, whenever the next District Reorganisation Committee is constituted under the NDA government, this long standing demand of separate districts will also be addressed.

Under Prime Minister Modi, the Minister said, for the first time this region has started getting its equitable share of both development as well as resources.

Those accompanying Dr Jitendra Singh in whirlwind election tour of the region included DDC Chairman Col(Retd) Mahan Singh, BJP President Darshan Singh, DDCs Narayan Dutt Tripathi and Dr Shweta, former Chairman Municipal Council Shammi Sapolia, BJYM President Udit, Sonu Gupta, Shailendra, Tejinder, Jagdish Sapolia and several other PRIs and prominent leaders of the area.