Very often people of Jammu say that they are neglected and that the policy makers prefer Kashmir over them. Well, they are right and the Republic Day parade held at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu city defends their statement.
Jammu is the winter capital of the state. It holds 37 seats out of the total 87 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Despite this fact, none of the top leaders of the ruling or the opposition parties attended the Republic Day function in the city. Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Kumar Singh was also absent from the event.
Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed, who is still not ready to start the office was seen attending the Republic Day ceremony in Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium. Omar Abdullah also preferred to attend the same function. Farooq Abdullah, who was in Jammu till the afternoon of 25th January decided to go back home to Srinagar for this national holiday. Jammu and Kashmir’s Governor, N.N. Vohra was the main guest of the event, but then he is the representative of the central government and not the state.
Many might argue that the assembly is not functioning and perhaps that’s why the leaders didn’t attend capital city’s parade. But, the assembly isn’t functioning, it’s still not dissolved and hence, these top leaders are answerable to the people of Jammu.
Had it been any other state then the absence of the politicians from the main Republic Day parade would have struck a controversy. News channels would flash it everywhere if Arwind Kejriwal missed Delhi’s Republic Day parade. He would attend the function because his priorities lie in the state. But maybe for the native state leaders, priorities lie in BAKSHI STADIUM OVER M. A. STADIUM. Perhaps Jammu is paying the price of being peaceful in an otherwise conflicted state.