In a seemingly major setback to the BJP, a near complete bandh was observed in the Jammu city on Friday against the setting up of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) at Kashmir than in the Jammu.
Congress, National Conference and Panthers Party have supported the bandh call given by the Chamber of Commerce and India Jammu.
It was the incident of Jammu bandh after BJP for the first time formed a government in an alliance with the PDP about two-month ago. The BJP had won 25 out of the 37 seats of the Jammu province including all the three seats of the Jammu city.
“The BJP which had all along fooled the people of the Jammu on perceived discrimination with this region stands exposed. We are not against granting AIIMS to Kashmir but the Jammu should also get its right,” said NC leader, Devender Singh Jamwal.
All business, commercial establishments and educational institutions were closed. Public transport remained off the roads, resulting in inconvenience to people especially Vaishno Devi pilgrims.
The bandh was observed on the day when two junior ministers from the BJP- Aslam Ghani Kohli and Chering Dorjay- were elevated as cabinet minister. The BJP now has eight ministers in the 16-member cabinet, though it has almost an equal number with the PDP- 28-MLAs.
Activists of NC, Congress and Panthers Party moved in all parts of the city ensuring complete bandh. Former minister and senior vice president of the state unit of the Congress Sham Lal Sharma along with the CCI president Rakesh Gupta and its office bearers held protest demonstration and raised slogans against the BJP.
The Congress criticizing the silence of the BJP over the issue said, the union finance minister announced AIIMS at Jammu but the State government announced the same in the Kashmir.
“BJP which claimed to be the champion of Jammu region and had secured huge mandate here is maintaining criminal silence. It has shown indifferent attitude inside and outside State legislature for the justified cause of the region. The people are agitating for about two-month and BJP’s silence exposes its real face,” said Sham Lal Sharma.
The chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had said the BJP-PDP alliance is also an opportunity to bridge the gap between Jammu and Kashmir regions. The observers though believe the bandh call has the potential of not only straining the relations between the alliance partners but also further widen the regional divide.