The PAGD calls the Centre’s report on development in Jammu and Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 ‘concocted’ and ‘fabricated’

Published : October 01, 2021 17:25 IST

PAGD spokesperson M.Y. Tarigami adressing a press conference in Srinagar. Photo: NISSAR AHMAD


The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) came down heavily today on the Centre for releasing a report that claimed Jammu and Kashmir had seen a new era of development after the abrogation of Article 370. M.Y. Tarigami, PAGD spokesperson, rubbished the report as “concocted” and “fabricated” and said that the erstwhile State had, instead, seen a bureaucratic rule evolve in the last two years.

The Home Ministry recently released a report titled “The dream of one nation, one law, one symbol fulfilled: After effective removal of the provisions of Article 370, the picture has changed: a new start in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh”. The PAGD’s statement, in contrast, said: “The reality is that there is a systematic disempowerment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that is continuing to happen, through bureaucratic rule.”

Tarigami said in a statement: “The claims of the BJP government that the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of a State with special status into two union territories has paved the way for new industries, created new employment opportunities, decreased terror incidents, brought atmosphere of peace and security, nurtured democracy, eradicated corruption, brought new Central laws for betterment of people in this region are nothing but concocted and fabricated stories while the ground situation belies these claims.”

Tarigami said that the projects mentioned in the booklet were mostly approved by the earlier governments, but were shown as the outcome of abrogation of Article 370. “The reality is that the Nashri Tunnel, the Zojilla Tunnel, the establishment of 50 degree colleges and various medical colleges are projects approved much before the abrogation of Article 370,” Tarigami said.

The PAGD statement further said that while the BJP government boasted of having implemented various laws such as the Land Reforms and RTI Act, the truth was the State of Jammu and Kashmir was a pioneer in implementing revolutionary land reforms laws which no other State had done except Kerala to some extent. “Similarly, the erstwhile State’s own RTI Act was stronger than the Union law. Its repeal when Article 370 was read down has led to chaos and complications,” the statement added.

“On the employment front, we lag far behind and have assumed the highest unemployment proportion as compared to the pre-August 2019 period. The filling up of vacancies is a routine exercise which was being done earlier also and now attributing it to the post-abrogation era is beyond our comprehension,” the PAGD statement said. Tarigami pointed out that unemployment rate was the highest in India in the last 45 years and that in Jammu and Kashmir, it was worse.

The PAGD also countered the Central government for crediting itself with getting bank accounts opened for women under programmes to expand their financial inclusion and gender equality. The PAGD statement said: “The NFHS-4 (2015-16), which collected data on women with bank accounts, found that at the all-India level, the percentage of women with bank accounts increased from 15.5 per cent in 2005-06 to 53 per cent in 2015-16. In Jammu and Kashmir, the percentage of women with bank accounts increased from 22 per cent to 60 per cent, which, if anything, compares well with the all-India average and appears to be better than the increases in Bihar, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and even Karnataka.”