Saturday, March 25, 2023
 News Details
‘Ab KeBaar Jammu CM’, Not Guv, LG or Advisors
Straight Talk

K B Jandial

Mehbooba Mufti has somehow smeared her image in Jammu to that of anti- Jammu and anti-India, thanks to her strong and provocative statements, utterances and tweets from time to time since her Coalition Govt was dumped by BJP on June 19,2018. Her virulent statements like Tirange ko koi kandadeneywalanehimiley ga, seeking “consent from a Hurriyat party” for forming coalition Govt with BJP( PTI Dec 12, 2015) might have helped her to garner and consolidate her vote bank in Kashmir comprising mostly protagonists of soft separatism, of which she was the author, and now, even separatists, after the space has become available due to demise of Syed Ali Shah Geelani and shutting down of their shops as a result of stringent action against them by NIA and other national agencies. Even the large-scale desertion by senior party leaders including several founder members like Muzaffar Hussain Baig, and frequent 'detention' at her CM residence didn’t deter her from her anger and hatred against Modi, BJP and to some extent, Indian State. She never criticizes Pakistan and its anti-India actions like martyrdom of security forces, KPs and localsfor which she holds Modi responsible for not holding dialogue with Pakistan on Kashmir. While these and other utterances and social media messages made Jammu angry despite respecting her father, Mufti Mohd Sayeed who had a huge goodwill in Jammu, her recent statement on not making LG in J&K from Jammu has cornered BJP to a large extent.

Recently, while addressing her party workers in Jammu she made a statement which has become a talking point in Jammu. “They (BJP) said to the people of Jammu that they will make a CM from Jammu. BJP could have made a Lieutenant Governor from Jammu but instead, they made the LG of Jammu and Kashmir from Uttar Pradesh. Didn't anyone from Jammu deserve to be the LG?” Mufti asked. Present LG, Manoj Sinha is the first political leader to be appointed as Head of J&K who comes from UP.

By sarcastic remark, Mehbooba has touched Jammu’s Dukhtinabez (painful nerve). While LG in his recent address, has dismissed the off-repeated charge of Jammu discrimination as a “phobia” and said that there is no such thing as of now. But the people don’t go by his claim even though a great deal has been done under his rule on the development front, not hitherto seen. But the issue raised by Mehbooba is not of development but a fundamental one relating to ‘Waqar’ identity & recognition of Jammu’ ability and talent in a larger context.

Mehbooba's taunt has become a buzz word in Jammu. There is a sustained BJP campaign that Jammu & Kashmir will have a Jammu’s Chief Minister after the impending election to the UT Assembly. It raises hope of return of the political power to Jammu after 75 years of Kashmiri political subjugation in a democratic way. There are lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ as no one can predict the voters’ choice in any fair poll. The ‘DC Khaliq’s' type of election is buried in the past. It doesn't exist and won't come back in any form in view of the changed ground situation in Kashmir. Moreover, there is absolutely no chance of large-scale manipulation of the electoral process to 'manipulate' BJP's absolute majority as had been the bane of Kashmir's electoral process. ‘Jammu CM’ cannot be said with certainty till the final outcome of the election as and when held, courtesy Election Commission of India (partly MHA).

While Mehbooba’s taunt has stirred remorseful sentiments once again on discrimination of Jammu but she, however, doesn’t appreciate that the local political leaders are nowhere appointed as Governor or Lt. Governor of the State or UT and rightly so.

Going a little forward on the same issue raised by Modi's one of the arch critics to the discomfort of BJP in Jammu, people often lament that what to talk of Jammu’s LG, its stalwarts are not even considered for Advisor to LG. Nothing stops Modi Govt to pick up any competent person from Jammu at least as Advisors. What’s the BJP’s take on it? Today, the LG has only a solitary Advisor, who is a retired DGP of a Central Force. There has been a history of local retired public servants having been picked up as Advisors to the Governor who were normally retired Chief Secretaries, barring the recent exceptions. Dr. S.S. Bloeria. Parvez Dewan, C. Phunsog and K.K. Sharma had remained Advisors to the Governor or the erstwhile State.

Whatever Mehbooba had the objective in her sarcasm, the fact remains that Jammu is rich in credible veterans who qualify even for top positions, what to talk of Advisors. Jammu has a long list of retired Chief Secretaries and DGPs who are second to none in integrity and capabilities and would be a great asset to Modi Govt if picked for any such positions.

Jammu’s proud veterans include celebrated Chief Secretaries, Secretary to Govt of India and former DGPs. They are Dr. S. S. Bloeria, Vijay Bakaya, B R Kundal, Parvez Dewan, Ashok Angurana, Anil Goswami (First IAS officer from J&K to be Union Home Secretary) K. K. Sharma and B R Sharma. Last four of them had remained Secretary to Govt of India. K. K. Sharma, currently the State Election Authority, was one of the Advisors to Governor Satya Pal Malik. Of them, Dr Bloeria and Parvez Dewan are celebrated authors having written several books. The distinguished retired DGPs available in Jammu are Kuldeep Khoda, who had been the Chief Vigilance Commissioner of J&K, Dr. Ashok Bhan and Dr. S. P. Vaid. There are some senior retired Army officers like Lt. Gen S K Sharma (Retd) who too would fit in for any such slot.

All these Jammu’s former top civil servants and army veterans deserve much more but they are not hankering after any such assignment even though they, in my ways, are more meritorious than many of those who are picked for such constitutional positions in the country. There is no need to compare these former civil servants with those who have found favour with the MHA but many Jammu bigots would not hesitate in saying that these veterans were not considered just because they come from Jammu which had been neglected by all Central Govts. Only Farooq Khan IPS (Retd) managed to be the Administrator of Lakshadweep and later Advisor to LG, perhaps the only one among the former civil servants to have this honour.

Local BJP leaders must spare a thought over this sensitive issue as their mission is “aabkebaar Jammu ka CM”. That might be far-fetched but what is in BJP’s hands today, could have done to reaffirm faith in Jammu’s talent and dignity, Mehbooba’s taunt notwithstanding. All of these veterans have better mettle to be the Constitutional Head of any State outside J&K. At least, some of them can easily be considered as Advisors to J&K LG which would definitely enhance Govt’s public reach as compared to the flying visits of 60 Union Ministers that may be good for optics. Overlooking best local talent would only strengthen the already existing strong perception of ‘Jammu discrimination’ even during Modi regime, LG Manoj Sinha’s publicly denouncement of ‘Jammu discrimination” as “phobia” notwithstanding.

(The Author is a retired IAS officer, feedback: [email protected])

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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