Jammu, Feb 3: Attacking the Congress over its promise of farm loan waiver, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the party uses the measure only to win elections.
The Congress had promised to waive farmers’ loans worth Rs 6 lakh crore in 2008-09, but it gave a loan relief of Rs 52,000 crore only after coming to power, he claimed.
“The CAG report found that about 25-30 lakh people who got loan waiver were not even eligible for it,” Modi said at a rally in Vijaypur here.
Ridiculing the loan waivers given by the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, the Prime Minister said some beneficiaries have been given cheques of Rs 13 only.
He said under his direct benefit transfer PM-KISAN scheme, Rs 75,000 crore will be allocated annually. It means Rs 7.50 lakh crore will be deposited in farmers’ accounts in the next 10 years.
The scheme aims to cover 90 per cent of the farmers who have less than five acres of land. Rs 6,000 will be transferred to their accounts annually in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each, he said.
“People know the track record of the country’s ‘naamdar’. They get ‘fever’ of loan waivers just before elections… They try to act as ‘messiah’ of farmers by announcing farm loan waivers once in 10 years,” he said referring to the UPA rule.
Ironically, the BJP had also announced loan waivers for farmers in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections in 2017.
After assuming power, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced loan waivers of up to Rs 1 lakh relating to small and marginal farmers.
Referring to Kashmiri Pandits, the Prime Minister said the Central Government is committed to respect and give dignity to the displaced community.
“The pain that they had to undergo, they had to leave their homeland. I have never said this but their pain is within me too,” he said.Jammu, Feb 3:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will not forget the sacrifices that Kashmir Pandits made when they left their homes in wake of violence.
Modi was speaking to a huge jubilant gathering in Vijapur where he earlier laid foundation stones for six major projects that require an investment of Rs 6000 crore.
“Centre is committed to preserving the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, the Kashmiri displaced brothers and sisters, and is devoted to their dignity and pride,” Prime Minister said. He said it is a very important issue. “I am personally in pain for them. That pain was in me, always.”
‘Committed to citizenship bill’
Jammu, Feb 3: Making a strong pitch for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that his government would stand with the children of “Maa Bharti” who have faced persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Addressing a rally in Vijaypur in Jammu region, Modi said “there are many children of Maa Bharti who have faced persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh…We will stand with those who were part of India at one time, but got separated from us” due to the Partition in 1947.
Targeting the Congress for its opposition to the piece of legislation, he said that party, when it was in power, did not pay “attention of the pain of our brothers and sisters”.
“But we have brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill with a commitment… If they are discriminated on the basis of faith, the country will stand up with them,” the prime minister said.
Lethpora attack: UN urges India, Pak to defuse tensions
Geneva, Feb 20: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to exercise “maximum restraint” and offered to mediate in the face of rising tensions following the attack at Lethpora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF troopers.
Guterres, through a spokesman, said that the UN is deeply concerned about the situation while offering to mediate if the two parties request it.
The head of the UN received on Wednesday the Pakistani ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi, whose government has asked the organization to intervene in the current crisis, Efe reported.
For now, Guterres calls on both sides to “exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps” to defuse the tension, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
The historic tensions between the two nuclear nations skyrocketed in recent days after New Delhi accused Islamabad of supporting the militant group that killed 49 CRPF troopers in a suicide bombing with a vehicle loaded with explosives on February 14, the deadliest attack in the region in 30 years.
In addition, nine people, including four army soldiers, a cop, and a civilian were killed in a gunfight again in Pulwama on February 18.
Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), said the UN was also saddened by the further loss of life reported from the gun battles in Pulwama on February 18.
“We hope escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours will not add further to the insecurity in the region” he said.
Colville said the High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, is also concerned about reports from India that some elements are using the Pulwama attack as justification for threats and potential acts of violence targeting Kashmiri and Muslim communities living in different parts of India.
“We acknowledge actions taken by the Indian authorities to tackle these incidents and we hope that the Government will continue to take steps to protect people from all forms of harm that may be directed at them on account of their ethnicity or identity,” he stressed.
Following the February 14 attack, India announced that it will take all possible diplomatic measures to isolate Pakistan from the international community.
UN asks additional escorts for military observers:
After one of its vehicles was stopped by a group of protesters in Jammu, the UN has asked the Indian government for additional escorts for its military observers in Kashmir.
“The observer group reported on February 16 that a UN vehicle in the city of Jammu was surrounded by a group of protesters who placed a Pakistan flag in front of the vehicle. The vehicle attempted to bypass the flag but was unable to do so,” Dujarric told the media on Tuesday.
He said the circumstances of the incident was “regrettable and unavoidable” and that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) had informed the governments of both countries.
“The Mission also requested India to provide additional escorts and will be conducting an investigation,” he added.
The 44-member UNMOGIP, now led by Uruguayan Major General Jose Eladio Alcain, began operations in 1949 to monitor the ceasefire in Kashmir following up a Security Council resolution the previous year.
India maintains that UNMOGIP has become redundant because under the Shimla Agreement of 1972 between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan’s then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue with no role for third parties. (With IANS inputs)
Govt downgrades, withdraws ‘security’ of 18 separatists, 155 others
Jammu, Feb. 20: In a major step on Wednesday, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir downgraded and withdrew the security of 18 Hurriyat leaders in the state.
According to the spokesperson of Home Department, it was felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is “wastage of scarce state resources which could be better utilised elsewhere”.
“Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat,” a government handout said.
This is in addition the 4 persons whose security was withdrawn on Sunday.
In addition, the handout said the security of 155 political persons and activists, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn. This includes Shah Faesal, who resigned from the IAS and PDP member Waheed Parra.
“Through this, over 1000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles are freed to do regular police work,” the handout said.
Reservation to EWS: Guv welcomes central law’s extension to JK
Jammu, Feb 20: Governor Satya Pal Malik has welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet regarding giving reservations in admission in educational institutions, for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens and giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
“The reservation to the economically weaker sections of the citizens will be in addition to existing reservation and subject to maximum of 10 percent of totals seats/posts,” a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
It is pertinent to mention that the Constitution (Seventy Seventh Amendment) Act, 1995 provides for giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for giving reservations in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens.
“Both these amendments in the Constitution of India were not applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the present form. The Union Cabinet’s approval to the extension of these amendments will enable providing of 10 % reservation in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of the economically weaker sections of the citizens,” the spokesperson said.
He added that the move will also give powers to the State for making provisions for reservation in the matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
Governor, the spokesperson added, has described these decisions as having far reaching consequences in helping to ameliorate the lot of the weaker sections of society and in ensuring their economic progress and prosperity.
SAC to meet tomorrow
Srinagar, Feb 20: The J&K State Administrative Council (SAC) will meet under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan Jammu on 22 February.
This is likely going to be last SAC meeting before Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for General Elections-2019 comes into force.