Dr. Narinder Singh, State General Secretary, BJP, extensively toured the border areas of the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri and North and Central Kashmir in the last fortnight. He held meetings with the party office bearers and workers in the border areas and took stock of the working of BJP in the North and Central Kashmir.
Dr. Narinder Singh suggested that there should be rotation of reserved Assembly Constituencies and on the lines of reserved seats for Scheduled Castes, political reservation for Scheduled Tribes (ST) should be done, as the state has large population of STs. Providing political reservation to STs is a long pending genuine demand of the community.
Dr. Singh said that Article 332(1) of the Constitution of India provides reservation of seats for both SCs and STs in the State Assemblies and why STs should be deprived of it in the state. Seven seats have been reserved for the Scheduled Castes in pursuance of the Jammu & Kashmir Representation of the People Act 1957 and he suggested that the Act should be amended to reserve 4 seats for STs in the Assembly.
While interacting with the media persons after his touring the border districts and the Kashmir Valley, he observed that the state needs to extend the benefits being provided to the residents of Line of Actual Control (LoC) to the residents of International Border (IB) as both are bearing the brunt of Pakistan shelling and their problems are identical. This will incentivize the residents of border areas to continue residing there and stop migration. The residents of LoC and IB should be provided 10 percent reservation in jobs. Dr. Singh also said that the state needs to revisit and reframe the reservations being provided to different sections of the society on the basis of ground realities. He floated the idea of providing reservations to Other Backward Casts (OBCs) as is in place in the whole country. For this he suggested enhancement of reservation quota under Other Social Casts (OSC) to include OBCs, from 2 to 9 percent. This will benefit all weaker sections of the state. Sate General Secretary suggested curtailment of Backward Area reservation from 20 to 5 percent, and it should be provided to those who actually reside in backward areas at that point of time of availing reservation. Backward areas should be developed for overall growth of the state.