Former National Conference leaders Devender Rana and Surjit Singh Slathia join BJP
The two politicians quit the Farooq Abdullah-led party on Sunday.
National Conference leaders Devender Rana and Surjit Singh Slathia joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday, a day after quitting the Farooq Abdullah-led party.
After joining the BJP, Rana said that it was time for Jammu to “have a political narrative”, reported ANI.
“It will be our endeavour under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others to create an inclusive narrative for Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. “We will not allow [the] “Dixon plan” and their supporters to succeed.”
In 1950, Australian High Court judge Sir Owen Dixon, who had then been appointed as the United Nations representative to India and Pakistan, had prepared a report called the “Dixon Plan”. This report had assigned Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and the Northern Areas to Pakistan, Ladakh to India, and split Jammu between the two countries. It also recommended a plebiscite for the Valley.
On Sunday, Rana, who was the National Conference’s provincial president for the Jammu region, had announced his resignation, saying that there was a need to strengthen the Jammu declaration.
“It will become a voice for Jammu and Kashmir and strengthen [the] UT [union territory] and country,” he said, according to ANI.
The Jammu Declaration is a charter that Rana had proposed in January to create unity between different communities in Jammu and Kashmir, according to PTI.
“The core of the declaration will be to engage the people in inter-region and intra-regional dialogue to bridge the fault-lines being created by divisive forces on the basis of region and religion,” Rana had said.
Rana told PTI on Sunday that only the Bharatiya Janata Party had paid attention to the declaration.
Meanwhile, Rana’s colleague Slathia had said it did not feel right to him to work for the National Conference anymore, ANI reported.
“Now I will speak for people of Jammu openly,” he told the news agency. “I don’t have any problem with [the] party [National Conference] or its leadership. I can serve people even outside the party.”
The two politicians were inducted into the BJP at its headquarters in Delhi by Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Hardeep Singh Puri and Jitendra Singh, reported PTI.