Srinagar: In an attempt to reach out to the people of Kashmir, BJP on Monday softened its stand on several issues including the alleged discrimination against Jammu region on development front.
"We admit that we thought major share of funds was going to Kashmir. In fact, it was so, but there were no signs of it in terms of development on the ground," BJP state vice president Ramesh Arora told reporters here.
Discrimination against Jammu has been one of the major issues raised by BJP over the years but the softening of stand comes as the BJP makes first serious foray into the politics of Kashmir.
"There was a feeling in Jammu that their share of funds has gone to Kashmir while Kashmiris thought they got nothing. What we have seen, only 100 families have progressed in the Valley. Out of these, two families figure prominently," Arora said without taking any names.
For the first time BJP raised the issue of missing persons as Arora alleged that successive state governments were not sensitive about the issue.
"There are around 35,000 half-widows... So many people are missing. If the government could not make the information about their whereabouts public, they could have informed the families of these people privately," he said.
Arora also alleged that the youth involved in stone-pelting cases were being harassed and their arrest and subsequent release has been turned into a trade.
"One party gets them arrested and then another party gets them released for Rs 20,000. This has become a trade and we promise that this practice will come to an end once we come to power," he added.