Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a massive public rally here on Tuesday and said that the Justice Sharma Commission has recommended reservations for Gujjars, Bakarwals and the Pahari communities of J&K and all of them will get their lawful right of reservations.
Shah dispelled rumours that the declaration of reservations as STs for the Paharis would in any way undermine the reservations given to Gujjars and Bakarwals.
“This is a rumour being spread by some to create a wedge between the Gujjar/Bakarwal and Pahari communities. Reservations given to Paharis will not undermine the ST reservation of Gujjars and Bakarwals, ” he said.
He commended the people of Rajouri and Poonch border districts by saying that whenever there was a threat to the country, these people stood like a wall against the enemy.
“The rest of the country is grateful to you because they can sleep in peace when you are maintaining vigil on the country’s borders, ” Shah said.
He said some politicians with vested interest had said there would be bloodbath in the Chenab Valley and Rajouri/Poonch districts if Article 370 was abrogated.
“The presence of such a large number of people, including men, women and children who waited for me for two hours in scorching heat is the answer to those who spoke of bloodbath if Article 370 was abrogated.
“Till August 5, 2019 when Article 370 was removed, three families had converted democracy into a fiefdom in J&K.
“There were no reservations for Gujjars, Bakarwals and Paharis because those three families kept everything for themselves and their few stooges.
“Modiji’s decision to abrogate 370 has opened way for reservations to the underprivileged communities of J&K like Gujjars, Bakarwals and Paharis.
“Instead of power wresting with just three families, Modiji held Panchayat, block and district level elections and today power is in the hands of 30, 000 representatives of the people elected to these bodies, ” Shah asserted.
He got a rousing response when he asked the gathering whether they would ensure to keep these three families out of power in the future.
The Union home minister said during the 70 years since Independence, for the first time this year, 1.67 crore tourists had visited J&K.
“Stone pelting is a thing of the past. We have taken away stones from the hands of the youth and given them laptops instead, ” he said.
Talking about militancy in the state, he said before the abrogation of Article 370 during the previous four years, 4766 militancy related incidents had taken place.
“After the abrogation of Article 370, only 477 such incidents have taken place here so far”, he disclosed.
He said Modi abolished the toll tax at Lakhanpur through which every item whether iron or food products entering J&K would be taxed.
“This would result in an increase in prices which you people had to bear. Modiji has abolished that tax and thereby controlled the prices of various commodities, ” he said.
He said nobody could have imagined a medical college in Rajouri till Modiji came to power.
“You have IIT, IIM, NEFT and AIIMS in Jammu now. These things were not even thought of before Modiji came to power in the country in 2014, ” Shah said.
He also spoke of various flagships programmes like Ayushmann Health card, rural electrification, roads and bridges and the starting of night flights from Srinagar International airport.
Shah is on a three-day tour of J&K.