Two public holidays --the Martyrs' Day observed on July 13 and the birth anniversary of former chief minister Sheikh Abdullah on December 5 -- have been dropped from the list of holidays, but October 26 figures in the list as the Accession Day.
The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress on Sunday staged a demonstration here against the recently released list of public holidays for 2020 as various political and social organisations pressed for inclusion of the birth anniversary of last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh in the official calendar.
In front of Hari Singh’s memorial near Tawi bridge, a group of party leaders and workers, led by Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir, staged a peaceful protest against the BJP and the local administration for “ignoring” the long demand of Jammu region to include the last Dogra ruler’s birth anniversary in the list.
National Panthers Party (NPP) chairman Harsh Dev Singh, along with his supporters and several social and cultural organisations, also joined the Congress.
According to an official order issued on Friday, a total of 27 public holidays will be observed throughout the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in 2020, compared to 28 in the previous calendar year.
Two public holidays –the Martyrs’ Day observed on July 13 and the birth anniversary of former chief minister Sheikh Abdullah on December 5 — have been dropped from the list of holidays, but October 26 figures in the list as the Accession Day.
The protesters passed a resolution over the revised calendar and sought its immediate review with a view to declare holiday on Maharaja’s birthday on September 23, a Congress spokesperson said.
Talking to reporters, Mir said “it is not the question of removing Abdullah’s birth anniversary from the calendar, it shows that BJP is playing divisive and vindictive politics with an eye on its vote bank”.
He targeted the BJP for “exploiting sentiments of Dogras on emotive issues” and said it was the BJP which is “disbanding” the Dogra state and downgrading it to union territory level. “This has exposed the opportunist politics of BJP,” the NPP chairman said.