NEW DELHI: Challenging the opposition to prove discrimination against Jammu, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has hit out at the critics saying, there is absolutely no evidence of regional discrimination against Jammu, particularly during the last one year following the historic constitutional changes of 5th and 6th August 2019.
He said, such allegations and such propaganda are being manufactured either by certain vested interests who have over the years thrived on receiving benefits from the back door or by certain cynic minds which draw sadist pleasure in raising the bogey of discrimination even when they cannot prove it.
Dr Singh was speaking to the media today after the Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur, Sunny Deol called on him to discuss the progress of some of the common inter-constituency projects of national importance like Shahpur Kandi and Ujh multipurpose.
The two leaders, representing adjacent constituencies in the Lok Sabha, also discussed other issues like movement of daily labourers and factory workers between Kathua and Pathankot during the lockdown.
The Modi government has ensured equitable development of both the divisions of the Union Territory, but the matter of fact is that on account of circumstances prevailing in the Valley, during the last one year the development activities had progressed at a much faster pace in the Jammu division compared to the Kashmir division, said Dr Jitendra Singh.
Substantiating his point, Dr Singh observed that the IIM has become functional in Jammu while there was no IIM in Kashmir and so also was the case with IIT which has been established in Jammu but not in Kashmir. Similarly, he observed that the work on AIIMS has started in Jammu while in Kashmir even the land acquisition is yet to be completed. The Biotech Park is about to become functional in Jammu but even construction work is yet to start in Kashmir.
The construction work on the Ring Road project, the widening of National Highway from Pathankot to Jammu to make it 6 lane from 4 lane as well as acquisition of land for the landmark Katra-Delhi Expressway road corridor have started in the Jammu region whereas in Kashmir the Ring Road project is yet to take off and the other Highway works are also lagging behind, said Dr Jitendra Singh and added that when Kashmir gets its share of Highway roads, it will also get its share of toll posts.
Taking a dig at the inherently habitual critics, Dr Jitendra Singh said, some of them are so much obsessed by the thought of discrimination against Jammu that they assume discrimination in everything, and so much so that tomorrow they may even go to the extent of complaining why Kashmir got more number of Corona positive cases and why Jammu, according to them, suffered discrimination by getting lesser number of Corona positive cases.
Out of seven centrally funded Medical Colleges, said Dr Jitendra Singh, Jammu received four and Kashmir only three and asked why nobody points out this. Similarly, he said, why nobody points out that the first ever National Institute of High-Altitude Medicinal Plants is being set up at Bhaderwah in Jammu division and not in Kashmir. Why nobody points out that the first national river Rejuvenation project is coming up on Devika , Udhampur and not Kashmir, and national irrigation projects like Shahpur Kandi, Ujh Multipurpose as well as power projects like Pakkal Dul and Kiru are coming up only in Jammu.
As for recruitment to government jobs, Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that hereafter the selection will be made purely on the basis of written test, without interview. Those who are raising hue and cry are the ones who had, over the years, learnt to secure government jobs through dubious means or through middle men, he alleged.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, as we complete one year since the historic 5th of August 2019, let us shed the baggage of past and liberate our mind-set from the cynicism that had plagued our minds for seven decades.