National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Wednesday said that denial of smart cities status to Jammu, Srinagar and Katra raises a big question mark on the credibility of PDP-BJP dispensation, especially the latter which took extra pains in marketing the dream to people of the State in a big way.In a statement issued to KNS, Rana asked, saying the BJP stands fully exposed, “Where are the smart cities in the yet another list reportedly notified by the Centre.”He said the people should not be surprised as the present dispensation in the state has abdicated its responsibility towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir and their development.Rana said that they have been selling dreams and making commitments that they know have not to be kept. This is not only about smart cities but to all that concerns welfare of the people of this State.He assailed the insensitive coalition for not putting up the case of this state in right perspective with regard to grant of small cities.
The Provincial President said that the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is on record having assured on the floor of the Legislative Assembly during her reply to the Governor’s address that the state will definitely get two smart cities.Rana also referred to the sharp criticism of BJP to his concern last year about delay in announcing three smart cities for Jammu, Srinagar and Devsthan Katra, saying that the coalition party had gone to the extent of accusing National Conference of ‘spreading lies to destabilise the PDP-BJP Government’.He said his party has never indulged in falsehood, which remains the trait of the BJP. He said the people of the state have realised what the BJP and PDP actually stand for.The Provincial President said the BJP first created hype over two smart cities for Jammu and Kashmir and then took excuse of eligibility criterion while indulging in jugglery of words on technicalities. “Now that yet another list is reportedly out, the BJP must explain as to why the State has been ignored”, he said while referring to similar status having been given to Dharmshalla in the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, which does not fulfil the required eligibility.
Rana said that keeping in view the importance of Jammu, Srinagar and Katra as tourist cum pilgrim centres, the Centre cannot take recourse to technicalities and eligibility criterion.“The state has passed through a most difficult phase and is currently also undergoing turbulent times due to wrong policies of the coalition dispensation and therefore the governments at the Centre and in Srinagar cannot look to other side when it comes to development of Jammu and Kashmir”, he said, adding that granting three smart cities to the state will not be a charity but legitimate right of the people. He cautioned the people against anti-J&K policies of PDP-BJP government, saying the delay in grant of smart cities to the State will have serious ramifications. “The Centre must appreciate the sensitivity of the demand and should immediately announce smart cities for Jammu, Srinagar and Katra forthwith and thus satiate the aspirations of the people,” Rana added. (KNS)