Although the People’s Democratic Party had promised in its election manifesto that they would declare the Sikhs as minority if elected to power, the PDP-led Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to confer such status to them. Along with Sikhs, Hindus also have been demanding minority status in the state. The government said it has not taken any decision in this regard while responding to some Jammu-based BJP legislators who had demanded that the Hindus should be declared as minority in the state.
“Muslims are the majority in Kashmir while Hindus are superior in numbers in Jammu. The government cannot declare minorities at block levels as we have to follow the national criteria,” Minister of Social Welfare Sajjad Lone said in the Assembly.
Sajjad said that there was a need to merge the Muslims of Kashmir into the national mainstream. He said that the Kashmiri Muslims need incentives and a healing touch and the government should not pay any heed to the demands for minority status by any community in J&K.
Replying to another question, Sajjad said that the government has no plans to set up a Minority Commission to look into such demands. Sajjad, who is a Cabinet minister on BJP quota, said that the government cannot create a Minority Commission in J&K because of Article 370. Such decisions are taken by the Central government, he pointed out.