Since the past six years when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took over the reins of the central government, people of Jammu have been lured to believe that a Hindu Chief Minister of the state (now UT) was a reality that could be achieved if the people of the region back the saffron party.
The dream was now inching towards a reality as the state became a UT, with a legislature, after an announcement from Parliament on August 5, 2019. Although the elections to the UT are still to be conducted, people of the region are made to believe that it would have the first Hindu Chief Minister soon.
As the delimitation is underway and it is expected that Jammu region will get its share that was snatched away from it by the Kashmir centric political parties. Filling up of the 24 seats reserved for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) for the refugees who are settled in Jammu is also under consideration. The process could make Jammu dominant over Kashmir and tilt the power towards the Hindu dominated region.
However whatever said and done, the Dogra belt is now questioning the government over the promises of economic development to Jammu. The new domicile rules rolled out by the central government have also not gone down well with the population of Jammu who believe that it would result in many ‘outsiders’ settling and getting jobs from their share.
Jammu has been made to believe that it was the Kashmir centric leadership that was destroying the culture and demography of the region and only a nationalist political party can save it from the ‘aggression’.
However Jammu is now feeling left out from the development story and little is being done for its betterment. While the bureaucracy in J&K is still functioning to please Kashmir, it is few leaders from Jammu like Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is taking a stand for the region and letting equal distribution of resources between Kashmir and Jammu.
However the residents of Jammu have now started to vent out their anger over the misplaced priorities of the government on different platforms. Now it has to be seen whether the people of Jammu are pleased over the assurance of a Hindu Chief Minister by central government or would like to see concrete developmental works in their region.