Congress, BJP trying to lure refugees for Jammu seat

Amit Khajuria

Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 26

Even after the nomination filed by prominent refugee leader Rajiv Chuni for the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat, the BJP and Congress are trying their best to muster the support of over 5 lakh refugee voters from the Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK).

The jolt given by the PoJK refugee leader has forced both the parties to address the grievances of the refugees once and for all. Both the parties are approaching the PoJK and West Pakistan refugees by exploiting their issues.

While Congress candidate Raman Bhalla said the BJP dumped the refugees by not addressing their issues, the BJP claimed that their government in the Centre gave them Rs 5-lakh compensation per family as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bhalla said, “Refugees have been ditched by the BJP-led government in the Centre and they are in favour of the Congress as it is the only party that can do justice with all sections of society.”

Claiming that the party will win the seat with a record margin of 5 lakh votes, BJP state president Ravinder Raina said, “We have done a lot for the refugees in J&K and the Modi-led government has assured them support in future as well.”

“Refugees have shown their faith in the BJP as they have got Rs 5 lakh per family under its regime only, which was a long-pending demand of the community,” he added.

The refugees have, however, shown their resentment against both the parties and decided to join the fray in the Jammu constituency.

“The BJP and Congress have failed to address our issues. We approached everyone but they all are same,” said Rajeev Chuni, PoJK refugee leader and a candidate for Jammu seat. “The BJP has given Rs 5 lakh against Rs 25 lakh per family and the reservation in technical college. As far as the Congress is concerned, Bhalla himself had been a Cabinet minister for relief and rehabilitation but he didn’t pay any heed to the issues of the refugees,” he added. Chuni also claimed that both the parties were pressurising him to withdraw his candidature.

War of words

The BJP dumped the refugees by not addressing their issues. They have been ditched by the BJP-led government in the Centre and they are in favour of the Congress as it is the only party that can do justice with all sections of the society.— Raman Bhalla, Congress Candidate

We have done a lot for the refugees in J&K and the Modi-led government has assured them support in future as well. Refugees have shown their faith in the BJP as they have got Rs 5 lakh per family under its regime only.— Ravinder Raina, BJP State President

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