Senior Congress leader and Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma, Friday alleged that the people of Jammu region had suffered “injustice and discrimination” for the last 67 years.
Significantly, except for a few years, the Congress has been in power in the state during that period — either on its own or in coalition with the National Conference or the Peoples Democratic Party. Sharma is known for his outbursts even against his own government on issues concerning people in Jammu region.
Intensifying his campaign in Akhnoor Assembly constituency, Sharma attacked those who talked of grievances of the people of Kashmir, but “observe criminal silence on the last 67 years of injustice and discrimination towards Jammu region”. The mindset of the ruling elite has to be changed by the people of Jammu with a mandate in favour of a party that stands for a better future, he said at election rallies at Maira and Muthi.
Sharma, a Congress nominee, is seeking re-election from Akhnoor for the third time in a row. He appealed to the people to vote for the Congress as it has emerged as sole guardian of their interests in view of its pledge to provide Regional Development Councils for equitable development of all the three regions of the state, reservation for residents of areas along the International Border, and a package for refugees from Chhamb and PoK.
On Wednesday, after filing his nomination, Sharma also reiterated his demand for a Hindu CM. “Time has come for a Hindu CM in J&K. Where in the Constitution has it been written that there cannot be a Hindu CM in the state?”