Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today said the youth of the state had been “left in lurch” by a “nepotistic and anti-youth” PDP-BJP coalition government.
“Hard-working, meritorious and qualified youth of the state are being pushed against the wall because of open political patronage to nepotism and an unprecedented chaos in recruitment, competitive examinations and at service commissions,” Omar, the working president of opposition National Conference (NC), said here.
He was addressing a one-day meet of youth NC provincial body at the party headquarters, Nawa-e-Subha, here.
Omar said the state has highly qualified and talented youth who have given their sweat and blood to be equipped with great academic credentials, but “this government seems hell-bent to alienate them after robbing them of their merit and rights”.
The NC working president said the "deteriorating" law and order situation and the "instability" in the state in the past three years had a direct bearing on the future of the youth.
“It is the youth that suffers the most due to the government's inability to preserve and nurture peace and stability. It affects their studies, robs them of employment opportunities and creates a sense of hopelessness that is dangerous considering the circumstances in the state. The biggest injustices with the youth are being perpetuated while the government has precious little to offer apart from rhetoric and photo opportunities,” he said.
Omar said rising unemployment in the state was a matter of grave concern and was a telling indictment of the “failed policies” of the present government.
“Our unemployment numbers are rising and could well have crossed a million unemployed skilled and unskilled young men if an objective analysis is undertaken. With the complete collapse of the tourism sector and zero headway in encouraging a private sector growth, diminishing jobs in the public sector have created an alarming situation. Especially, how even those limited jobs in the public sector seem to be reserved for the kith and kin of the ruling alliance leaders,” he said.
He asked the party's youth wing to reach out to the youth and empower them politically to become opinion-makers and stake holders in finding solutions to these problems.
“Be it the aim of curbing nepotism, of fighting corruption, of holding the government accountable or of ushering the state into a corrective era of growth, peace and progress, our youth hold the key. They have the answers to the problems that plague our state and their voice should be amplified and represented at every policy level,” Omar said.