Jammu, Oct 21: Peeved over the State Government’s two parameters in releasing salary advance on festivals for the employees of Jammu region and Kashmir valley, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and former Minister lambasted the ruling alliance particularly the BJP for the most hostile and differential treatment doled out to the employees of Jammu region who were deprived of their wages and salaries on Diwali eve despite the practice of festival advance existing in the State. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
While addressing the media, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh regretted that the State dispensation had not granted any festival advance or advance salary to the Jammu based govt. employees on the eve of Diwali, contrary to the benefits and bonanza bestowed to the large section of its employees from Kashmir region on the occasion of Eid. “Even the Jammu employees majority of them in non-gazetted cadre who had moved to the winter capital with the Darbar had not been paid TA/ DA or any festival advance which had marred their Diwali with disappointment and resentment. The callous gesture of ominous alliance doling salary advance on Eid to the valley based employees and showing dry coffers to the employees of Jammu on ‘festival of lights’ was highly prejudiced, biased and scornful. It was an irony that BJP who got heavy mandate from Jammu could not ensure release of salary advance to the aggrieved employees for meeting expenditures and celebrating the festival”, angry Harsh said. Lampooning BJP’s slogan of ‘Achey Din’, Mr. Singh lambasted the State government for not releasing wages in favour of the lower rung employees on the eve of Diwali. He rued that thousands of Jammu based DRW’s, Need based workers and Casual labourers working in various departments viz-a viz PDD, PWD, PHE, R&B, I&FC, RDD, Health & Medical Education, Forest, Horticulture, Agriculture, TDAs, Social Welfare, etc. who worked like bonded labourers were left out without their meager wages on Diwali unlike their Kashmiri compeers. Similarly, the regular employees of various govt. deptts were deprived of the festival advance which was paid on the eve of Eid through a special govt. order issued in this regard. “Moreover, the relay hunger strike of plus two contractual lecturers which comprised majority of females entered 248th day on the eve of Diwali who were still waiting for the govt.’s response towards their genuine demand of regularization. While the families of such employees were pushed to starvation and other miseries on Diwali, the power intoxicated Saffron leaders preferred to surrender before its ally PDP by remaining mute over the issue”, lamented Harsh.
Slamming further the State government for turning blind eye over the discriminatory functioning of the J&K Bank, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh divulged that the Bank had launched its ‘Festival Advance Scheme’ in Sept 2015 for the State govt. employees to meet their personal and financial needs only once in a calendar year during the festivals like Eid –ul- Fitr, Eid –ul- Adha, Nowroz, Diwali, Baisakhi, Gurupurab, Losar and Christmas. He said that while on the occasion of Eid, the Bank persistently published attractive and lucrative advertisements in the leading dailies to entice the valley based govt. employees for availing the scheme but it had been observed that no such advertisements could find place during Diwali and other festivals to cater the needs of Jammu or Ladakh based employees.“The sectarian attitude of the State government had unveiled that it had been adopting two parameters for the govt. employees in granting salary advance or loans during the festivals which had led to immense disillusionment and displeasure among the working class”, dismayed Harsh said. He demanded immediate release of pending wages of the lower rung employees and warned the State govt. to refrain from discriminating with Jammu based employees during the festive occasions. He said that Panthers party shall not tolerate any bias against the aggrieved employees which would further intensify its agitation in their favour unless they were ensured rights with dignity and honour.
Mr. Gagan Pratap Singh State Secretary and Spokesman JKNPP was also present during the press conference.