Veteran Congress leader Karan Singh's elder son Vikramaditya Singh today joined Jammu and Kashmir's main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Singh joined the PDP at a function here in the presence of thousands of people, who came from different parts of Jammu region.
PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and president of the party, Mehbooba Mufti formally inducted and welcomed Vikramaditya Singh into the party fold.
Addressing the function to welcome Vikramaditya in the party, Mufti said that he was extremely delighted with this joining.
"It is not a routine joining function. Today's development is going to change political discourse of the state because this event would be a turning point in cementing relations between Jammu and Kashmir regions," Mufti observed and asked Vikramaditya to play an important role to change history of the state.
Without naming any political party, Mufti alleged that few political leaders, both at the Centre and state level, have failed to remove the inter-regional trust deficit in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Instead of bridging the gap, some political parties, for petty gains, have further widened this divide," he said.
Party president Mehbooba Mufti, while speaking on the occasion, said that Vikramaditya has to play an important role to address aspirations of the people of Jammu region.
"You have to shoulder greater responsibility and you have to represent Jammu's wishes and aspirations," she said and assured the gathering that PDP will come up with an exclusive vision document for the over-all growth of Jammu region.
Addressing the function, Vikramaditya Singh, who spoke in Dogri, said, "I joined PDP by conviction not compulsion. It will be my endeavour to strive for cause of the common people".
"Jammu and Kashmir is very close to my heart. I have been closely observing the politics and developing scenario in the state for many years. It grieves me to see how Jammu region has been systematically marginalised and sidelined over the years," he said.
"As a person whose family has been closely associated with the history of the state and as a proud citizen of India, I have decided to enter the political arena in our state to try and bring about a change," he said.
Reaffirming his commitment to work for the upliftment of people, he said, "My vision for Jammu is clear. I would like to see a realistic master plan for the development and growth of the entire Jammu region especially the far-flung and backward Kandi areas."
"I would like to see greater industrialisation in areas linked to the railheads like Kathua, Basholi, Billawar and Hiranagar," he said, adding, "I would also like to see a new tourism development plan for Jammu region for the areas like Patnitop, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar and the Mugal Road".
Pointing towards problem of unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir, Vikramaditya said, "It is vital to understand the aspirations and goals of the large population of youth in the state. This very important segment of our society is disgruntled and is looking for leadership that understands these expectations. It is our responsibility to provide a safe and secure future to our younger generations."
Giving reason to choose PDP to enter political arena, Vikramaditya said, "Mufti as Chief Minister sought to provide equal development in different regions of the state. He took measures towards integration of the state. He is a man of great wisdom who enjoys respect of the people."