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Centre committed to eliminate militancy: MoS Home

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jan 22: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai Wednesday said the central government was committed to “eliminate militancy” from Jammu and Kashmir.

“India and Pakistan were earlier one nation and partition was in no way good for both the countries.  But now we are here to eliminate militancy and follow the Prime Minister’s model  for development and peace,” Rai said while addressing people at Sheikhpora in Budgam district.

Rai was the fourth union minister to visit Kashmir as a part of Centre’s reach out programme in the last two days. 

 

He said Article 370 had “hampered” the development of the erstwhile state. “Now youth can go to various states to realize their dreams and make country proud. All this was not possible before the abrogation of Article 370. There will be new opportunities, prosperity and development for the Kashmir valley,” he said.

The union minister interacted with various delegations including local representatives, Panchayat members and Block Development Council members.

He said that special focus shall be given on industrialization in the newly carved Union Territory to open up new employment generation avenues for the local youth. Besides, he said, special focus shall also be given on the improvement of education sector in JK. The Minister said that people of J&K will be provided access and development at par with other states of the country.

Terming secularism as unique strength of the country, the Minister said that all citizens have responsibility to strengthen it and make good out of it. He said that the present dispensation is committed to protect rights and land of the people.

Stressing on the empowerment of people at grassroot level, the Minister said that now funds are at the disposal of Panchayat members and PRIs functionaries to empower them financially.

During his visit, the Minister e-inaugurated Girls Hostel Budgam, Hostel for Doctors at District Hospital and laid foundation stone for MGNREGA works. During the outreach programme various delegations including BDC Chairmen, Ring Road delegation, Contractual Teachers Association, Auqaf Committee Ompora, Ichgam and Gurduwara Prabandhak Committee met the Minister and raised their demands with him.

The Minster assured the deputations that all their genuine demands shall be taken up with relevant quarters for prompt and early redressal. He further stressed on implementation of all government sponsored schemes including SBM and Ayushman Bharat in letter and spirit so that all the beneficiaries are benefitted from these welfare schemes.

The Minister was accompanied by District Development Commissioner Budgam Tariq Hussain Ganaie. The DDC apprised the Minister that all centrally sponsored schemes are being implemented in letter and spirit in the district.

Among others, IG CRPF, SP Budgam, ADC Budgam, SE Hydraulics, ACR, ACD, CEO, Exens of PDD and Irrigation were also present on the occasion.

Later in the evening union Minister for Communication, Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad landed in Srinagar. He inaugurated a women post office at General Post Office, where he spoke about Centre government’s motive for reaching out to people.


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Bukhari’s ‘Apni Party’ constitution in making

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Feb 23: Former minister Altaf Bukhari and his team are in the process of framing the constitution of ‘Apni Party’, the third front being formed to kick-start the stalled political process in Kashmir, courtesy Centre’s detention of major political players.

 “The draft constitution has entered its final stage and is awaiting approval. We will declare our party anytime as all the formalities have been completed,” Bukhari said in an exclusive chat with The Kashmir Monitor.

‘Apni Party’ is meant to work as a third front to resume political activities in Kashmir at a time when three former CMs and other major political leaders are facing PSAs and detention since August when J&K simultaneously lost its statehood and special status.

 

Bukhari, a former PDP Minister, has been busy lately in garnering support of those political leaders, who managed to remain free, possibly in lieu of their silence.

On Saturday, Bukhari met BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav in Gulmarg, who, interestingly, a day after said that he wants the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to become conducive for normal political activity to resume.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, senior Congress leader and former MLA Bandipora Usman Majeed resigned from the party to join hands with Bukhari.

Besides Usman, Bukhari’s team, so far, includes former MLA Ghulam Hassan Mir, and former PDP leaders Dilwar Mir, Javaid Beigh, Noor Muhammad Shiekh, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Abdul Majeed Paddar, and Abdul Raheem Rather.

The buzz of a ‘third front’ was further confirmed when in January these former MLAs met Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu and envoys of 15 countries during the latter’s visit to Kashmir.

Bukhari said his party will differentiate itself from the mainstream parties through its “agenda of working to solve the issues of people”.

“After August 5, people lost their hopes as economy, development took a back seat. Our party will raise issues like providing domicile rights over land and jobs, releasing of political leadership from detention, protecting J&K Bank’s autonomy,” he said.

“We are not hereditary politicians but common people. Apni Party is a party run by common people for common people. When we thought of its name, we considered interests of all the regions,” he said.

Congress leader Majeed also confirmed his association with Bukhari and said they are going to work together “for betterment of people.”

“Yes, I have resigned from Congress as the party has a specific agenda which is no different from that of BJP. I just needed a free space to work for the betterment of people and decided to quit the party. We are many former MLAs who are with Altaf Sahab,” he said.

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Usman quits Cong to join Bukhari

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 23: Congress leader and former Bandipora legislator Usman Abdul Majid Sunday announced his resignation from the party.

Usman is one of the nearly two dozen leaders who have joined hands to structure a new political podium in Jammu and Kashmir led by former minister Altaf Bukhari, which would likely be formed in the first week of March.

Usman has announced his resignation during a convention in Bandipora on Sunday.

 

“Yes, I am resigning from the party because Congress is no different agenda as it has its own particular agenda. I want to work freely for my people,” he told The Kashmir Monitor.

Asked if he was joining Altaf’s upcoming party, Usman said: “Yes I am with Altaf Sa’ab.”

Usman said that he will send his resignation to the party on Monday.

Addressing the convention, Usman lashed out at Congress saying it was is “because of it that the people of Kashmir have been suffering from last 70-years.”

“This party is behind the sufferings of Kashmir people,” he said.

Referring to Altaf Bukhari’s ‘Apni Party, Usman said the new party will be floated very soon.

“Regional parties including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party misled people here over self-rule and autonomy. People in Kashmir are suffering because of their misdeeds,” he said.

He accused Congress of ‘double speak’ and claimed the party leadership was never sincere to the people of the Jammu and Kashmir.

“They would speak one language in Delhi, other at Jammu and quite contrasting in Srinagar,” he said.

 Usman said like-minded people have already joined hands for the new party.

“The party which is being floated is not backed by BJP. Linking our new regional force with BJP is totally baseless and concocted,” he said.

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Want normal political activity to resume: Madhav

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 23: BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Sunday said that everyone in his party wants the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to become conducive for “normal political activity” to resume.

“Keeping the situation of J&K in mind, the government has invoked certain Sections for the detention of some leaders there. When the situation improves and things normalise, everybody will be allowed to do their political activity. We all want the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to become conducive for normal political activity to resume,” Madhav told ANI.

Ram Madhav’s response comes days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that he was praying for the early release of the three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir who are currently under detention.

 
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