Senior leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party Vikramaditya Singh on Sunday announced his resignation from the outfit, saying it was not possible for him to continue with the PDP which “disregarded the demands and aspirations of Jammu region”.
Singh said he would also resign from the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council.
The grandson of last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh sought “urgent intervention” of the Centre in addressing regional issues and claimed that the people of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir regions were “not happy” with the present dispensation.
Singh had joined the PDP on August 2015 in presence of the party’s late president Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He was a member of the state Legislative Council.
“I have sent my resignation to party president Mehbooba Mufti with a request to accept it immediately. I feel it is neither morally nor ethically right for me to continue as the member of the PDP and as an MLC,” he told reporters here.
“I have also decided to resign from the Legislative Council where I was nominated to by the Governor. I shall write to the chairman of the Legislative Council requesting him to accept my resignation,” Singh, the son of Congress leader Karan Singh, said.
He claimed that he never nursed any political ambition and said had that been the case, he would have joined politics at the age of 25.
Accusing the PDP of criticising him every time he raised any issue related to Jammu region, Singh claimed, “I have publicly expressed my concerns for our state in general and Jammu in particular over the last several months but the party has rejected those.”
According to him, the issues included illegal settlement of Rohingyas and demand for a public holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh.
“It is no longer possible for me to be a part of a party that continues to disregard the demand and aspirations of Jammu region,” he said in his resignation letter.
“Who is happy (with the present dispensation) in Jammu and Kashmir... all the three regions are pulling in different directions, Jammu is demanding complete integration, Ladakhis favour Union territory and Kashmiris are looking for a solution. They too are our own people.
“Where is the meeting point and the integrity of the state under the prevailing circumstances? Indian government should take urgent steps to address the issues,” Singh said.
Advocating a solution where people of all the three regions of the state are happy, he said the government needs to address the aspirations of the people of the regions.
“Whether that means separation (of Jammu region), Union territory (for Ladakh) or a solution to Kashmir issue. The government need to reach out and address the issues or come out with any other formula,” Singh said.
He also alleged that attempts are being made to “wipe out” the over 100-years-old glorious history of Dogras.
“I twice wrote letters to PDP ministers Naeem Akhtar and Altaf Bukhari demanding inclusion of golden period of Dogra rulers in the school books. But they paid no heed,” he said.
Singh thanked the civil society for their struggle for various issues concerning the people of Jammu, including the demand of public holiday on the Maharaja’s birth anniversary.
“We have to continue this agitation till justice is done with Jammu. Till we get the due share, we have to carry on with our struggle, and everyone needs to support me on this,” he said.
Remembering PDP founder and the state’s former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Singh said “we have completely failed in his vision.”
“He wanted to connect the hearts of the people but today we have left every soul with broken heart. We have gone backwards,” he said, adding he joined politics on the invitation of Sayeed, but unfortunately “with his death the situation changed drastically”.
Asked whether he has consulted his father before deciding to resign from the PDP, Singh said his father is the head of their family and no decision is taken without consulting him.
On his future plans, he said his family has a bigger role to play and will work towards fulfilling his responsibility.
“I have decided to undertake people contact programme and I am visiting different parts of the region... It does not matter if I am an MLC or associated with any party. What is important is to remain in touch with the people,” Singh said.