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No trouble within party in JK: BJP

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Srinagar, May 02: The Bharatiya Janata Party high command, while rejecting any trouble within the BJP unit in Jammu and Kashmir, Wednesday cautioned the recently made ministers that their performance will be reviewed and decision will be taken accordingly in the future.
The BJP on Monday did a major reshuffle of its ministers when five new faces were inducted into the cabinet.
The BJP’s decision to revamp the ministerial team came after adverse reports by local RSS and BJP leaders that, in Jammu, the party is seen to have completely surrendered to the PDP, which is strong in Kashmir. The party has also faced backlash after its two ministers took part in a rally in support of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
BJP National Vice-President, and Kashmir Affairs in charge, Avinash Rai Khanna, said that performance of newly inducted ministers will be reviewed. “The ministers have to perform better. Those who perform poorly will be dealt accordingly,” Khanna said over phone from New Delhi.
Within hours after the Cabinet reshuffle, the BJP faced a revolt as party legislator from the Chenani segment of Udhampur district, Dina Nath Bhagat, termed the state government “anti-Dalit”, which was working against the neglected and marginalised sections of society.
Another sulking legislator boycotted the legislature party meeting to protest the denial of ministerial berth to him.
“As far as our strength in the Assembly is concerned, we deserve at least two Cabinet berths,” Bhagat has said.
However, Khanna said there was no resentment within the BJP. “We are analyzing Bhagat’s statement. We gave equal representation to everyone. There was no discrimination neither the BJP believes in it,” he said.
Bhagat has said that instead of giving due representation to the neglected and marginalised sections, the government was rather gagging their voice.
“Monday’s reshuffle in the Council of Ministers has authenticated our allegations that this regime is anti-Dalit,” he has alleged and added that reserved category employees had been demanding promotion in reservation but the government had adopted a casual approach.
Meanwhile sources said that the ministers who join PDP- BJP government’s cabinet were told that they were chosen with great consideration.
Sources said that the party high command had received the reports that BJP’s graph has gone down during three years in the entire state as party Ministers and legislators focused less on development works and addressing people’s issues.
When Khanna was asked said that there were reports that party Ministers had completely lost connection with the masses, he said BJP won’t allow such things to happen and accordingly has conveyed clear cut instructions to all the party Ministers to make all possible efforts to take the party to new heights.
“We will review the working of party Ministers on regular basis and that if any negative report would be received the party will take stern action,” Khanna warned.
Meanwhile according to reports the BJP high command has set the process in motion for election of new State party president in place of Sat Sharma, who was inducted as a Cabinet Minister. (KNS)


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Sajad alleges NC, PDP of drifting towards power at cost of Art-35 A

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Srinagar, May 21: Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone Tuesday castigated the twin traditional parties for trivializing the sentiments of the people of Kashmir and their inherent tendency to lie to suit their interests.
Sajad said the moral pretense of NC and PDP, the high stentorian rhetoric of Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti stands ridiculed today.
“You boycotted the ULB elections and termed it as a ‘sham’ election under the fig leaf of Article 35-A. Just answer one question. How seriously would New Delhi take you given that the theatre both of you enacted prior to the ULB polls. Those assertions of aspirations, those assertions of boycott to safeguard article 35 A- was that all a sham? Were you all along lying. We just pray that Delhi does not take your non seriousness about Art 35 A as a reference point. Your covert participation and now overt acceptance makes mockery of the cause that you were supposedly advocating—God save us all from advocates as murky as you”, he added.
Sajad said that both parties are now drifting towards power at the cost of the cause that they were purportedly advocating.
“This is a section of the Kashmiri leadership which was in headlines all across the country for boycotting the ULB polls—now it transpires that on one hand an avowed boycott and on the other a lust for power. The national leadership today has a good idea about the seriousness of these leaders and their tantalizing lust for power—they today know they would sleep with the devil for the sake of power and would sacrifice and belittle any cause that they advocate”, he added.
Sajad emphasized that Peoples Conference has a clear and simple majority in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and will continue to deliver on its promises of delivering change in a city that has been neglected by the twin traditional parties.
“Both the traditional mainstream parties need to see the writing on the wall- that Srinagar is changing and taking strides towards hope and positivity under an overarching goal of self empowerment and accountability. PC Mayor and Deputy Mayor as well as all our Corporators will continue to play a very positive and enabling role in the SMC and will deliver effective change on the ground and try to transform Srinagar into a world class tourist city”, he added.

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High prices force Kashmiris to purchase lesser dates this Ramadan

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Srinagar, May 21 : Unlike previous years, the prices of dates have increased in the Kashmir markets in the ensuing holy month of Ramadhan, thanks to the major decrease in supply mostly due to suspension of cross LoC trade. The soaring prices of dates have forced the people of Kashmir to go for the less purchase of dates.
Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, a wholesale dealer of dates explained that less arrival of dates this year was responsible for the prices to increase by 15 to 20 per cent. “Kashmir has recorded the arrival of less date as compared to same time last year mostly due to suspension of cross LoC trade. Almost 20- 30 per cent decrease in arrival has caused the prices to go up” said Sheikh.
According to traders, prices of non-branded as well as branded dates have increased by at least 15-20 in the local markets. While last year one kilogram of unbranded dates was sold at Rs 90- Rs 100, this year it is sold at Rs 150- Rs 200, said the traders.
Farooq Dagga, a dates’ merchant told KNO that there has been some impact due to levy of 12 per cent Goods and Services Tax on the market prices of dates for last couple of years. “While there is almost increase of Rs 20 – Rs 30 per kg due to GST, dates which used to arrive through LoC trade mostly in form of dry low priced dates is witnessing a shortage,” said Dagga.
Even Ajwa dates, considered as pious and rich in medicinal value by Muslims across the world, priced anywhere between Rs 2000- Rs 2200 per kilogram in the local markets has seen an increase in prices. 40 plus varieties of dates that have arrived in Kashmir for Ramadhan this year which commenced on May 6 have seen an increase in prices proving to be a burden on common people.
Dates merchants at Parimpora fruit mandi said dates from Oman, Algeria, Iran and Iraq among other Muslim countries also find many buyers in the local market. These varieties which include Rabi, Razan, Kaas, Nawar, Jumar, Barari priced in the range of Rs 150 to Rs 2000 per kg have also seen an increase of 15 – 20 per cent, said another trader.

“Dates from Iraq and Pakistan used to find many takers in the local market but due to suspension of cross LoC trade there supplies have dried up. Even Israel exports dates across the world and this produce used to be also available in the Valley,” Muhammad Saleem Bhat, a fruit merchant told KNO.

 
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Congress remembers Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary

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Srinagar, May 21: The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) in a meeting of Senior Party Functionaries & Prominent Leaders remembered Former Prime Late Rajiv Gandhi on his 28th death anniversary and paid floral tributes to departed leader.
The party said that martyrdom of Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi would continue to lead the nation at the path of unity, harmony and development.
The meeting was presided over by J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G.A.Mir, who paid floral tributes to Rajiv Gandhi, recalling his selfless services and sacrifices to the Nation and said the departed leader shall always be remembered for the services he has rendered to people irrespective of their caste or religion.
Addressing the meeting, G.A Mir described Rajiv Gandhi as a tallest leader of the Country under whose leadership the Nation touched the new heights in respect of development, education, science and technology etc, there was no looking back after Rajiv Ji introduced Computer Education bringing the Nation at par with other developing countries in the world, he said.

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