Will uplift, empower Gujjar, Bakarwals: Azad


SRINAGAR: Chairman, Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday highlighted the persistent exploitation faced by the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities at the hands of regional parties, saying that they have consistently been used as a vote bank without receiving genuine support or development.
‘These communities have borne the brunt of militancy and violence and continue to live in poverty without proper facilities”, Azad said while addressing a gathering of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community in Muskhud Devsar.
He emphasized the need for change and promised that, if elected to power, his administration would prioritize the upliftment and development of these marginalized communities. “I pledge to ensure that the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities are given the opportunities and resources they deserve to improve their quality of life,” he said.
Azad condemned a senior leader from the National Conference (NC) for defaming the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities by accusing them of accepting money to cast votes.
“The Gujjar and Bakerwal communities have always upheld their principles and integrity. They have faced bullets but never sold their soul for votes,” he asserted.
Azad also slammed the regional parties for using religion to get votes, saying, “We must not involve religion in politics. Our focus should be on selecting leaders who can raise the voice of the people in parliament”.
Azad said that his return to ‘state’ politics is driven by his dedication to the welfare of the underprivileged, particularly the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities.
Azad stated, “I have always prioritised the needs of the poor and marginalised. During my previous tenure, I ensured the distribution of free land to the poor, especially benefiting the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities. Unfortunately, the current government has reversed these gains and taken back the land from these deserving people.”
Azad further announced his intention to reinstate the Roshni Scheme if given the mandate to form the government.
The Roshni Scheme, which was originally introduced to provide land ownership rights to the underprivileged, will be a key focus of Azad’s agenda.
Referring to the recent government actions, he pointed out that his party was at the forefront of resisting the land eviction orders.
“It was only our party that stood up against the unjust land eviction orders. We protested and successfully halted the use of bulldozers against the poor,” he asserted.
He pledged to bring back the Roshani Scheme to protect the rights of the poor and reiterated his commitment to creating a just and equitable society in Jammu & Kashmir.
Azad said that his party will introduce a comprehensive land and job protection law for Jammu and Kashmir. This law aims to safeguard the rights of the local population by restricting outsiders from applying for jobs and purchasing land in the region.
He said, “Our property and our jobs should be reserved for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. There is no justification for outsiders to come and take our share. Such protective laws exist in many states across India. Why should Jammu and Kashmir be treated any differently?”
Among others present on the occasion included Mohd Amin Bhatt Provincial President, Salman Nizami Chief Spokesperson, Zamir Ahmed Distt President and others.

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