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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

In border village, issue is not shelling but a bridge

"In a state that has more than five lakh educated youth registered as unemployed, the elections are an opportunity for redressal of all the issues facing them".

Jammu | Published: April 11, 2014 1:56:05 am

Promila Devi, 32, was among four members of a family who suffered splinter injuries when a shell fired from across the  Oakistan border fell on their compound of last October.

On Thursday, she voted not to express her anger with Pakistan, but with the hope that the new government will build a bridge over the Chenab and link Khour with Jourian.

“In border areas, people will have to face such threats,’’ said her husband Jagdish Lal, who is a farmer.

In villages located 100 to 200 metres from the Zero Line and where agriculture has suffered due to Pakistani shelling, what seemed to matter more was inflation, unemployment and corruption as voters queued up at polling stations. Half of them had already voted by 1 pm.

Girdhari Lal, 75, a retired headmaster, has voted in all previous Lok Sabha polls, but his demand for a bridge remains unfulfilled. “I have never heard an MP from the constituency bringing up the issue in Parliament,’’ he pointed out.

These border villages fall under two assembly constituencies, both considered Congress bastions. The Congress candidate and two-time MP from Jammu-Poonch, too, belongs to the area.

In a state that has more than five lakh educated youth registered as unemployed, the elections are an opportunity for redressal of all the issues facing them, said Vijay Kumar, 19, at Burnai on the outskirts of Jammu city. Referring to threat of Pakistani shelling, Parkash Chand from Rakh Kharoon village said that even if one dares cultivate his fields near the Zero Line, he cannot harvest the crop in time due to intermittent firing .

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