Modi govt’s policy on J&K directionless, rudderless, fruitless: Mallikarjun Kharge

NEW DELHI — Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday accused the BJP of only experimenting with the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the past 10 years and claimed the Narendra Modi government’s policy for the Union Territory has been “directionless, rudderless and fruitless”.

Kharge’s attack on the government came on a day Modi addressed a massive rally at Srinagar’s Bakshi stadium, the first by a prime minister.

In a post on X, Kharge said, “Pradhan Mantri ji, the people of Jammu and Kashmir want to ask the following questions to you — Why are 65 per cent of posts in J and K’s government departments vacant since 2019? Why have 97 per cent of investments not realised on ground since the introduction of the New Industrial Policy in 2021?”

He said people want to ask why investments worth Rs 82,026 crore out of the claimed Rs 84,544 crore have not been implemented and why was 40 per cent of projects under the 2015 PM’s Development Package still pending.

“Despite the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, why has the number of terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir increased from 140 during UPA-2 to 579 in NDA-2, which resulted in the sacrifice of 290 security personnel and 168 civilians? Thirty targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits took place in 2022 alone. Why?” Kharge posed on X.

He also sought to know when would full statehood be restored in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Congress president pointed out that the Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission to conduct elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly by September 30, 2024.

“It is important to note that the Modi government had promised to restore full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir ‘soon’ in 2019 itself. The BJP has only done experiments on the lives of people of Jammu and Kashmir in the past 10 years,” Kharge said.

“Modi government’s only policy on Jammu and Kashmir has been directionless, rudderless and fruitless!” the Congress chief said.

Kharge’s remarks came after Prime Minister Modi asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is “breathing freely” after the abrogation of Article 370 and pledged accelerated progress over the next five years.

“Modi will not leave any stone unturned to repay this debt of affection. This is Modi sanz (Kashmiri word) guarantee,” he said addressing a massive rally at Srinagar’s Bakshi stadium.

The Congress’s Jammu and Kashmir unit claimed that Prime Minister Modi has “disappointed” the people of the Union territory by avoiding the core issues of restoration of democracy and statehood in his rally.

It termed the prime minister’s speech “old rhetoric”.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee leader Ravinder Sharma said the political aspect of the prime minister’s speech was on the expected lines but it was expected that “instead of claiming credit for some of the UPA projects.. he would refer to the commitment before the house and the Supreme Court about the restoration of illegally snatched statehood and holding of assembly and other polls”.

Lakhs of unemployed youth, daily wagers, contractual and other temporary employees as well regular employees were expecting something for themselves from PM Modi’s pre-election tour, “but they were left high and dry”, he said. — (PTI)