Like other communities in India, Gujjars across the country are also impressed by the development plank of Narendra Modi, and those in Jammu and Kashmir also want to see him as the next Prime Minister, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president and member of legislative assembly (MLA) Jugal Kishore Sharma has claimed.
He said this after an interactive meeting with a large number of Gujjars hailing from various areas of Jammu province on Monday. The meeting was convened by BJP ST Morcha state president Bashir Ahmed Jagal.
Sharma, who was briefed about the plight of the Gujjars in the state, said it was "unfortunate that lakhs of these people had been discriminated against by the successive state governments". "They have always been used for vote-bank politics," he alleged.
"The National Conference, which claims to be working for the welfare of Gujjars, has been exposed as it has been ruling the state for the maximum period after independence, but did nothing for them," he alleged.
He added, "The Gujjars have realised that the NC, Congress and People's Democratic Party (PDP) have only fooled them with slogans and promises of their economic development and social welfare. After Narendra Modi's rally at Jammu, the Gujjars are now openly turning to BJP in large numbers, as they are of the view that 'Modi for PM' means the end of discrimination, new era of development and welfare of ignored sections of the society."
Jagal said Modi was the first political leader who had mentioned Gujjars in his rally at Jammu, which was "in itself an indication that the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate had pain and concern for the ignored community". He assured the state leadership of massive support by Gujjars in its 'Mission-2014' of 'Modi for PM'.
Prominent Gujjar leaders, including Haji Mohd Ayub Betab, Feroz Din Loja, Vika Cheichi, Lal Hussain Bania, Saif Din, Vika Loda, Saif Din Poswal, Makhan Din Loda, Liaqat Ali Loda, Mohd Farooq Kissana, Jamat Ali Kassana, Gulam Rubani, Shah Din Paswal, Rehmat Ali Chauhan and Liaquat Ali Chauhan, attended the meeting.