Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists on Tuesday held protest and submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner (DC) Ajit Kumar Sahu, expressing concern over delay in holding elections to the municipal corporation, committees and councils.
Jammu district president Rajesh Gupta led the protest march from Shaheedi Chowk to the DC's office. Party state president Jugal Kishore Sharma, leader of the legislative party Ashok Khajuria, former mayor Kavinder Gupta and other leaders were present.
The elections to the urban local bodies (ULB) have been delayed for the past more than three years. The elections were last held in 2005 after a gap of 23 years. The elections to the ULB were due in early 2010 but had been delayed inordinately.
The state government had made five announcements in three years to conduct the elections but none had been honoured, thus depriving the state of Central funds worth crores of rupees, the activists said, adding that development works in cities and towns in the state had come to a grinding halt and many sanitation projects had been stalled since the last municipal body was dissolved.
"The government's commitment to ensure democracy to flourish at the grass-roots level has been exposed, as it has been delaying the elections to the ULB on one pretext or the other," Khajuria said. He criticised officials of the Jammu municipal corporation who had been working at the diktats of ward-level activists of the Congress and National Conference.
Jammu district president Rajesh, while questioning the repeated assurances of senior Congress leaders to hold elections, said Congress state president had been announcing in public that the party was committed to hold ULB elections and empower municipalities and panchayats.
He said people of Jammu city were suffering on the account of non-constitution of the corporation but the government was sleeping, which spoke of its concern for the masses, development and welfare.
BJP activists staged similar protests and submitted memorandums to the DCs and tehsildars at Udhampur, Reasi, Samba, Ramban, RS Pura, Kathua, Akhnoor, Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Basohli, Sunderbani and Nowshera.