Congress claims support of refugees from Pakistan in Jammu

Jammu, April 4: Congress candidate from Jammu, Madan Lal Sharma, Friday said a delegation of refugees from Pakistan living in the constituency met him and assured their support.

His claim came a a day after Labha Ram Gandhi, the leader of Pakistan refugees living in the constituency announced support to the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate, Jugal Kishore.

In a statement issued here, the Congress said: “A delegation of refugees called on Sharma at his residence this morning and informed him about their support to him and the Congress party.

“Sharma told the delegation the Congress-led UPA government has provided many facilities to different categories of refugees for central benefits including admission of their children at various places.

He said the state government was actively considering to provide state subject rights to these refugees and has taken up with the central government the issue of one-time settlement of all pending issues of 1947, 1965 and 1971 refugees.

Sharma ruled out any impact of Gandhi’s support to BJP.

There are over 100,000 Pakistan refugees living in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency of which 40,000 are voters, and if they come out in en masse support of any candidate, it would change their electoral fortunes.

These refugees do not have citizenship rights in the state. They cannot apply for government jobs, own property in the state or vote in the state assembly elections although parts of Pakistan from where they migrated to India are considered as parts of Jammu and Kashmir state occupied by Pakistan.

IANS