BJP cries foul over use of term ‘Chenab valley’ again

JAMMU: Despite the BJP’s objection to the use of term ‘Chenab valley’ for the Muslim-majority areas of the Jammu province, two official handouts issued after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s tour to the mountainous district of Kishtwar today repeatedly and prominently used it.

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 10

Despite the BJP’s objection to the use of term ‘Chenab valley’ for the Muslim-majority areas of the Jammu province, two official handouts issued after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s tour to the mountainous district of Kishtwar today repeatedly and prominently used it.

The BJP, which is an equal partner in the coalition headed by the PDP, has objected to the term as the party was of the view that it was deliberately being used by Kashmiri leadership to divide the Jammu region on communal lines.

“Using the term ‘Chenab valley’ in the official handout amounts to pursuing communal politics in Jammu and a bid to divide this region on religious lines,” BJP spokesman Varinder Gupta told The Tribune while making a veiled attack on the PDP.

After the Chief Minister visited Kishtwar today, the authorities issued official handouts of her tour. In these releases, the term ‘Chenab valley’ was repeatedly and prominently used.

According to one of the handouts, the Chief Minister, while addressing a meeting at Gulab Garh after laying the foundation stone of a Tourist Facilitation Centre, said the ‘Chenab valley’ was full of tourist potential and government was making efforts to make it part of the adventure and trekking circuit which would generate huge employment for the local youth.

Infuriated over the use of the term for three Muslim-majority districts of the Jammu province, namely Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban, by the government, the BJP spokesperson said there was no logic to treat this mountainous belt as a single political entity because every district had its own problems, distinct culture, ethos, language and dialect.

“There is no reason to club these districts into a single entity. Those who are trying to bring three districts into one single unit are actually pursuing divisive politics in the Jammu region to extend Kashmir’s communal agenda in the otherwise peaceful areas of Jammu,” he alleged.

“We will ask our ministers to take up this issue with the PDP,” he said.

Some days ago, state BJP chief spokesman Sunil Sethi had said efforts to change names of region to create a separate identity was a serious matter and exposed the designs to divide Jammu on religious and regional lines.

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