Bharatiya Gujjar Mahasabha (BGM) on Friday expressed hope that the upcoming visit of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will pave way for the development of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities of the state.
"We hope that the upcoming visit of the Prime Minister will pave a new way for the development of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities of the state," BGM president Eshfaq-ur-Rehman Poswal said.
He said that the Prime Minister, during his visit on February 3, will address the long pending issues of the Gujjars and Bakerwals of the state, including political reservation and implementation of tribal sub plan in proportionate to population.
Gujjars and Bakerwals were granted the scheduled tribes status in 1991, but so far they have not been given political reservation in Jammu and Kashmir like in other states, he added.
"Bharatiya Gujjar Mahasabha has been demanding political reservation since long and we hope that the PM will address the issue," Poswal said.
Drawing attention of the Prime Minister towards the underdevelopment of Gujjars and Bakerwals, he added, "Despite plethora of welfare schemes these communities are still backward."
The funds are being misappropriated and benefits of schemes do not reach down to the needy people, he said.
"The tribal sub plan is also not implemented in the state despite directions from the Planning Commission of India," Poswal said, adding that a delegation of BGM had called on the PM in 2010 and apprised him about the issues, but so far nothing has changed on the ground though.
He expressed hope that the PM, during his visit, will intervene in the matter in the lager interest of both the communities.