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During dark times, Dr Jitendra Singh has come as a ray of hope for J&K

Last Updated on July 12, 2020 at 7:23 pm

It was a long struggle for Jammu since independence of the country as the region had to face continuous discrimination at the hands of Kashmir centric political parties that led to discontentment among the youth who were left unemployed despite all hard work.

The announcement on August 5, 2019 after which the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories had brought much needed relief to the people of Hindu dominated Jammu who thought that the time for their emancipation from the dominating Kashmiri leadership had approached.

However little did they know that while the discrimination would end to some extent, several other problems would crop up due to the UT status of Jammu and Kashmir. Aspirations specifically of youth and common people in general were not fulfilled even after J&K became a UT and disgruntled masses started campaigns against the misrule of the present administration.

It was during this time when the only union minister from J&K Dr Jitendra Singh entered the scene and saved the situation. Dr Jitendra Singh who is the minister in Prime Minister Office (PMO) has taken several initiatives during the recent past in which he had directly talked to the Lt Guv of J&K GC Murmu and asked to change several orders and rulings that were perceived by the people of J&K as discriminatory.

Interestingly, Dr Jitendra Singh who is the Member Parliament from Kathua Lok Sabha constituency is not only working for the people of Jammu region but also for the residents of Kashmir who have also seen a ray of hope in him.

Dr Jitendra Singh is a doctor by profession who rose to the limelight in 2008 during the Amarnath land agitation when there was no other leader from Jammu. His debates over the issue on national television networks were appreciated by people of Jammu as he touched all the sensitive topics including discrimination with the region.

During the recent times, as soon as he received reports of growing discontentment among the people of J&K over different issue, Dr Jitendra Singh was quick to resolve these by talking to the Lt Guv GC Murmu over telephone. In wake of Coronavirus outbreak, Dr Singh has chosen not to visit Jammu in person.

SRO 202

Recruitment rules formulated in 2015 by the then PDP-BJP government were named as SRO 202 in which a person employed in the government job was supposed to work for a probation period of five years. The provision had faced resistance and intense protests since these were implemented.

It was till recently when the youth of Jammu and Kashmir was campaigning against SRO 202 when Dr Jitendra Singh stepped in. After discussing the matter with J&K administration, Dr Singh announced on social media that the rules will be abolished and there would be no more a probation period.

Reservation for IB residents

Government had moved a bill to provide reservation to the International Border (IB) residents in 2019. All those people living along IB were supposed to get three percent reservation in jobs on similar basis like the residents of LoC.

However a recent advertisement by Jammu Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) for the post of Accounts Assistant (Panchayat) had no mention of reservation for the IB residents. The matter was taken to Dr Jitendra Singh who interfered and a corrigendum was issued by the JKSSB that stated that residents of IB will also be included for reservation.  Dr Singh was able to bring the residents of border at par with other people residing in similar tough conditions.

Quarantine rules modified

A 47 year old man died of heart attack in a quarantine center in Kathua after he returned from Mumbai. He was put in an institutional quarantine as per the rules of J&K government and was tested for Coronavirus. While his reports tested negative, he had already died due to heart attack inside the quarantine facility.

As soon as Dr Jitendra Singh came to know about such an incident inside a government quarantine facility, he immediately talked to the officials of J&K and asked them to modify the guidelines of quarantine so that no person had to stay for a longer period. After the complaints of samples being lost by the authorities reached Dr Singh, he had to again intervene.

Schools re-opening decision reversed

Jammu and Kashmir government had ordered that the schools will be re-opened from June 15. The decision faced a lot of criticism from parents and society in general as it was not possible for children to attend their schools during the Coronavirus pandemic.

A campaign was also launched on social media condemning the government’s move after which it gained momentum. Only after the issue was taken up with Dr Singh that the administration relented and the decision was revoked. Government announced that there was no decision on re-opening of schools.

Road tax imposition

It was again Dr Jitendra Singh who came to the rescue of people of Jammu and Kashmir when the administration of the UT proposed to levy addition token tax even on the old registered vehicles. The transporters held protests and demanded that such an action could jeopardize their operations and put them under heavy burden. The decision was revoked soon after Dr Singh talked to the Lt Guv of the UT.

Why has Dr Jitendra Singh become more important?

While Dr Singh is the only union minister from J&K, he also holds key portfolios. He is a minister in PMO that allows him to keep a tab on all activities in J&K. On the other hand lack of exposure has not allowed any other BJP leader of Jammu to build direct contact with the central leadership and this brings Dr Jitendra Singh to the forefront in resolving the issues disturbing people of Jammu.

He has been able not only to make a direct contact with the common people of the UT over social media but also has good relations with the BJP workers in J&K. His resolve to work for the UT has allowed him to build a rapport even with people of Kashmir region.

Challenges faced by BJP

While the position of Dr Jitendra Singh is getting strong day by day, the lack of basic amenities in many parts of the UT and some other factors have made a dent on the image of BJP especially in Jammu that is the stronghold of the party. Installation of several toll plazas in Jammu has become a cause of discontentment among the residents.

On the other hand erratic power supply in Jammu even during the peak summer season has become another reason that has infuriated the people against the BJP.