SRINAGAR: A membership drive of Jammu Kashmir People's Movement – the newly formed party by IAS officer turned politician Shah Faesal – was kicked off yesterday, i.e. on Sunday the 24th of March, 2019 in District Ganderbal, after the party supremo Dr. Shah Faesal announced on Saturday at a press conference in Srinagar that his party won't be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The membership drive in Ganderbal district was kicked off by party leader Shehla Rashid who travelled to various areas of Ganderbal district with a delegation led by Ganderbal District Incharge Raja Parvaiz. The JKPM delegation comprising party members from Srinagar and Ganderbal districts held small-scale, private meetings at Gund, Kangan and Ganderbal main town, and listened to people's issues.
Seven sitting Sarpanchs joined JKPM in presence of Shehla Rashid who assured them that their issues would be raised by the party. The delegation also visited the residence of bereaved party member Mr. Sheikh Mohammed Iqbal whose father-in-law passed away on Sunday. Party leader Shehla Rashid met the family members and expressed deepest condolences with the bereaved. She was also joined by various members from JKPM Women's Wing, including Women's Wing incharge Rufaida Mansoor.
In Gund area, people complained about destruction of traditional means of livelihood. They said that locals are not allowed to do business during the Amarnath Yatra as was the case earlier. Local youth said that they used to facilitate the Amarnath Yatra and earn their livelihood. Now, they are not allowed to work for the Yatra. This has led to destruction of traditional means of livelihood. They also complained that they have not received compensation for building toilets. They complained that they have spent no less than Rs. 20,000 each for building toilets in their homes.
The government had assured them of financial support worth Rs. 12,000 under the Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) scheme under the Swachh Bharat mission, but even this paltry sum was not disbursed. JKPM leader Shehla Rashid asked the youth in Gund to carry out a survey of such cases and urged JKPM volunteers to take up the issue with the local administration. She urged the newly formed team in Gund to carry out the membership drive with vigour and strengthen the party.
In Kangan, JKPM got a major boost when six sitting Sarpanchs and one panch, namely Manzoor Ahmad Lone (Kangan – A), Aijaz Ahmed Rather, Showkat Ahmed Mir, Hakim Din, Farooq Ahmed Lone (Kunmula Panch), Showkat Ahmed Lone, Imran Ahmed, Manzoor Ahmed Lone (Manigam), Mohammad Akram Kalas, Mohammed Younis Bajad and Mohammad Hussain Pukhtoo joined the party and said that they aligned with Dr. Shah Faesal's vision and were inspired by his sacrifice.
JKPM leader Ms. Shehla Rashid formally inducted them and warmly welcomed them into the party fold and took note of their concerns. Shehla Rashid termed this “a major boost for the party's strength, as the newly inducted Sarpanchs are mostly young men who are passionate about restoring the lost dignity of Kashmiri people.” Shehla Rashid further said that, “decentralisation and devolution of real power to the Panchayat level representatives is the most urgent democratic reform that is needed.”
At Kangan, Shehla Rashid also interacted with journalists who complained that they are frequently attacked physically for doing their job. Jammu Kashmir People's Movement strongly condemns the attack on journalists in Kangan, and also in any other part of the state. “Journalistic freedom and safety of reporters is a top concern of the JKPM and we have noted with concern the recent incidents of violence against journalists”, said Shehla Rashid.
Shehla Rashid also visited the family of party worker Mr. Sheikh Mohammed Iqbal in Manigam whose father in law passed away after a brief illness. She was joined by Ganderbal District Incharge Raja Parvaiz, JKPM Women's Wing Incharge Rufaida Mansoor and the local Sarpanch Manzoor Ahmed Lone, as well as several student volunteers of the JKPM.
District Incharge Raja Parvaiz who had organised the meetings said that, “We will soon hold public meetings in Ganderbal district. He thanked party leader Shehla Rashid for her visit, and said that the youth of Ganderbal want change. He invited youth and women to join the party and said that future programmes will include inauguration of an office in Ganderbal, setting up of a district level Women's Wing, and public meetings in Lar, Gotlibagh and other areas of the district.”