JAMMU: The Congress launched a month-long ‘Haath Se Haath Jodo’ campaign from here on Sunday, with its leaders and workers chanting slogans against the imposition of property tax and calling for early restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood.
Led by AICC incharge of ‘Haath Se Haath Jodo’ yatra in Jammu and Kashmir Bharat Singh Solanki and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Vikar Rasool Wani, the yatra began from Janipur and headed to Raipur in Jammu north assembly.
Jammu and Kashmir Congress working president Raman Bhalla, former ministers Mula Ram and Yogesh Sawhney, party chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma and other senior leaders joined the march which saw participants raise slogans against property tax and anti-encroachment drives.
They also carried placards criticising the BJP-led central government over its alleged failure to check inflation and provide employment to the educated youth.
“The Haath Se Haath Jodo yatra-cum-agitational programme is the second phase of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which shall culminate at the end of this month after covering various districts and constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir,” AICC incharge of the yatra in Jammu and Kashmir Solanki said.
“The main focus of this programme is to highlight various issues of people like the imposition of property tax, snatching of land from the poor in the name of anti-encroachment drive, unprecedented price hike, record unemployment and other arbitrary orders of government,” he said.
On February 21, the Jammu and Kashmir administration ordered the imposition of property tax in municipal areas from April 1, drawing strong protests from people from almost all walks of life. Political parties are demanding an immediate rollback of the order.
According to a government notification, the tax rates will be five per cent of the taxable annual value for residential properties and six per cent for commercial properties.
Lashing out at the government over its “anti-people” policies, PCC president Wani demanded immediate rollback of the property tax and an end to the anti-encroachment drive.
He also demanded that the government ensure immediate restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, early assembly elections and safety of minorities living in the Valley.
The Centre revoked the special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, 2019 and divided it into two union territories.