March 9, 2021 1:51:21 pm
Cutting across party lines, the newly elected district development council (DDC) members on Tuesday boycotted a two-day training-cum-workshop here and staged a protest in support of their demand for better status and monthly honorarium.
Significantly prominent among the protestors was the chairperson of the Jammu DDC Harhar Bushan who announced that they will not talk to the administration unless it withdrew the warrant of protocol issued Monday evening.
The government has given DDC chairpersons status equivalent to administrative secretaries and members equivalent to Deputy Commissioner. It had decided that chairperson will be paid a monthly salary of Rs 35000, vice-chairperson Rs 25000 and members 15000. This protocol, according to government order is only ceremonial and for government functions.
The members, affiliated with different political parties including the BJP, the National Conference, the Congress, the PDP, the CPI(M) and independents from across the Union Territory, gathered as per the schedule at the Convention Centre for the training programme, scheduled to be inaugurated by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.
However, they boycotted the programme and staged a massive protest in the lawns against the administration. “The administration has insulted us by lowering our stature even below the MLA,” said Jammu DDC Chairperson and senior BJP Leader Bharat Bhushan.
“What development we will initiate in our constituency when administration decides to pay such meagre salary,” a DDC member from Kupwara said.
Jammu Deputy Commissioner Sushma Chauhan tried to pacify the protestors saying that they can put forth their demands inside the auditorium, but later refused to oblige saying the administration shall first rescind the order deciding their protocol.
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