With the ruling BJP on backfoot over the beef ban and service tax on pilgrims, the Congress today took to street to hijack the saffron party’s “Hindutva agenda” in Jammu.
Former ministers and a large number of Congress workers staged a protest demonstration against the state government’s decision to impose service tax on devotees, especially Vaishno Devi pilgrims.
Congress leaders alleged that the decision would discourage aged, ailing, handicapped and children to perform the Vaishno Devi yatra.
The party legislators had earlier moved an adjournment motion in the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council over the issue.
Realising that there is strong resentment among people against the decision, the Congress took the issue to the streets to corner the BJP in the Jammu region.
Congress leaders lashed out at the PDP-BJP dispensation for its “utter failure” on all fronts.
They said the BJP, which claimed to be the champion of Jammu’s cause, had betrayed the mandate by taking a U-turn on all vital commitments made to the people of the state, especially the Jammu region, during elections.
The Congress representatives said the state government had imposed service tax on the chopper services to Vaishno Devi shrine with the consent of the BJP leader.
They also alleged that the coalition was trying to divide people of the state on regional and religious lines.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) leaders, meanwhile, appreciated the role of party legislators in both the Houses.
JKPCC senior vice-president Sham Lal Sharma, Raman Bhalla, Mula Ram, Kanta Bhan, Thakur Balwan Singh, Manjit Singh, Manmohan Singh, Vikram Malhotra, Kuldeep Raj Verma and Shiv Dev Singh were part of the protest.