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Madhav tells Mehbooba:‘Learn to manage your party before threatening us’

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Srinagar, July 14: Ram Madhav, BJP leader and in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir said former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s statement on his party trying to break PDP “is not only based on untruth but also most shocking and unfortunate.”

Mehbooba must find ways to “manage her party” said the BJP leader on Sunday.

“What Mehbooba ji said yesterday is unfortunate and based on lies. No one in Delhi is trying to break her party. Instead of solving their internal conflicts they are blaming Delhi and threatening in the name of militancy. As far as BJP is concerned, we aren’t trying to break any party,” Ram Madhav told news agency ANI.

 

Mehbooba, on Friday, accused the BJP of trying to split her party to form new government in the state. “If Delhi tries to create divisions and interfere” more Salahuddins and Yasin Maliks, would be born and the “outcome will be dangerous,” she had said.

The BJP said Mehbooba’s statement has not only “exposed her proximity to separatists”, it would now give “oxygen to militants” in the Valley.

“As far as the threat over ‘Salahuddin’ is concerned, the Central government and security forces have the power to neutralise all the militants in the Valley and those who might turn to militancy due to Mehbooba,” said Madhav.

“We are committed to what we have said that Kashmir needs Governor Rule’s for some time to deliver goods to the people,” said Madhav, adding that Mehbooba Mufti should “address the grievances” of “corruption and nepotism” in PDP made by her lawmakers.

Mehbooba resigned last month after the BJP abruptly ended its three-year alliance with her PDP citing rising security concerns in Jammu and Kashmir.

Several PDP leaders a week ago had met her and pledged their support to her after allegations of BJP leaders trying to poach PDP lawmakers.

Five dissenting leaders of PDP on Friday dismissed Mehbooba’s claim that they were rebelling at the Centre’s behest.

Legislators Javaid Baig, Imran Ansari, Majeed Padder, Yasir Reshi and Safuddin Bhat said they have no faith in Mehbooba’s leadership and claimed they want to strengthen and reform the party.

Meanwhile, a group of BJP activists on Saturday staged a protest at Kachi Chawni in Jammu against Mehbooba.

They burnt an effigy of the former chief minister. The protests were led by the party’s President for Jammu West Ayodhya Gupta, who urged Governor NN Vohra to take note of Mehbooba’s comment and file a sedition case against her.

 

No takers of her word even if she herself becomes Salah-ud-Din: Congress

Srinagar, July 14: A day after former Chief Minister asked New Delhi ‘not to repeat 1987’, the State Congress Chief, Ghulam Ahmad Mir on Saturday said Mehbooba Mufti “won’t find takers even if she herself becomes Salah-ud-din”.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief was quoted by Kashmir News Service that the statement made by Mehbooba is quite contrary to what she said when she was in power.

“Mehbooba should have thought and made these statements post mandate in 2014,” Mir said while reacting to former chief minister’s statement.

Mir said that making such statements doesn’t suit Mehbooba at this juncture as she was in power till last month.

Mehbooba had earlier stated that if New Delhi resorts to horse trading of lawmakers in Jammu Kashmir then more Salahuddins and Yasin Maliks would be born.

He further stated that Mehbooba has apprehensions that party like PDP would be created in the State.

“A large number of leaders led by Late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed came out from the congress and constituted PDP. Mehbooba may have apprehensions that a party would be created here as PDP was created by L K Advani,” he said, adding that she might be remembering her party’s creation.

Mir said that she is making such statements only to hide the failure of her party. “The regional parties here always praise New Delhi during power and criticize it while out of power,” he said, adding that “making such statements won’t prove anything as she has been tested by the people. Mehbooba won’t find takers even if she becomes Salah-ud-Din,” he said.

Reacting to the query over seeking an end to two-family rule in the State by disgruntled PDP leaders, Mir without naming anyone said that those who are seeking end to the family rule are themselves SRO-43.

“I could have digested the statement regarding seeking an end to family rule but those who are seeking it are themselves SRO-43 and if they would have reached on this position on their own then it could have made any sense,” he added. (KNS)


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JK’s liability swells

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Similar to previous years, Jammu and Kashmir has accrued a liability of over Rs 7,000 crore in the ongoing fiscal even as experts blame state’s political leadership for not finding a solution to the issue.

Official documents of the finance department reveal that the state is running a liability of Rs 7,531 crore so far this fiscal, a figure close to the annual build-up J&K witnesses every year.

The total liabilities for the state have now swelled up to over Rs 68,000 crore.“The three fiscal parameters–revenue deficit, fiscal deficit and outstanding liability–indicate the extent of overall fiscal balance in the finances of the state government during the specified period. The nature of deficit is an indicator of the prudence of budgetary policy of the state government. Another useful measure of the deficit-base in a state’s fiscal policy is the State’s Own Deficit (SOD),” the documents reveal.

 

Noted economist, Professor Nisar Ali said the state’s expenditure and revenue system has been “mismanaged”.“The power purchase has been an important factor for swelling liabilities. The GST has further increased the mismanagement between expenditure and tax revenue,” he said.

Prof Ali also blamed J&K’s political leadership for increasing liabilities.“The annual liabilities increase due to power purchases despite the state having huge hydro resources. The state’s leadership has failed to fight for the return of power projects.

“It also depends upon the government of India how it wants to find a solution to this problem,” he added.

Endorsing Prof Ali’s views, a senior official of the finance department said that little or no use of revenue generation avenues, increasing power purchases and bulging expenditure on salaries are the main contributors to the escalating liabilities of the state.“There is a steep rise in salary and pension bills, power deficit, rising interest liabilities, loan repayments, and deficit on account of non-tax revenue,” the official said.

 

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Conducive atmosphere inevitable for dialogue: Farooq

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) president, Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that the favourable atmosphere is inevitable for dialogue, which is the only way out to settle the issues.
Addressing party workers in Jammu, Dr Farooq said that the dialogue is the only way out to resolve the issues but there is a need of conducive atmosphere which is inevitable. He added that “under the shades of gun, no dialogue process is possible. We have to stop bullet culture for lasting peace in the region.”
“NC has also given priority to the people. When I became Chief Minister in 1996, I fought with many things as the school were shut, no bridge was there, no office was functioning as the people were frightened by the turmoil then, but I stood up to fight against the forces who were inimical to peace.”
About 35 percent reservation in other states, Dr Farooq said that the incumbent Chief Minister of Odissa, Naveen Patnayak has written to him, suggesting there should be reservation of 35 percentfor women in Jammu and Kashmir also. “We will implement the law, which will ensure 35 percent reservation to women in the State once getting into the power,” he said.
However, he said that it is not easy to take such decisions as when his government took a decision to make 50 percent reservation for girls in Medical College then some people knocked the door of Supreme Court to put halt over the decision.
Dr Farooq also appealed the party workers to work hard and ensure the win of NC leaders who will be contesting the elections.

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Abundant snowfall in January makes Gulmarg the perfect winter-destination for tourists

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Unlike last January, the abundant snowfall so far this month has attracted a lot of tourists to Gulmarg as the destination is brimming with over 90 per cent occupancy these days.

The valley has received at least four moderate to heavy snowfalls this year with an even stronger wet spell predicted from January 19 to 23.
Tourists from across the world are cherishing this and making their way to Gulmarg, whose slopes offer a perfect destination for skiing.

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, CEO Gulmarg Development Authority, Syed Hanief Balkhi said that most of the hotels are fully occupied as people are heading to Gulmarg to enjoy the charismatic scenery offered by the snow-covered hills.“Gulmarg is under 4-5 feet snow and is looking like a playground these days. Tourists from India and abroad enjoy skiing, snow cycling, ice skating, snow-sculptor activity, sledge-racing and other games here,” he said.

 

Apart from the hoteliers, the rush of the tourists, Balkhi said, has provided good workdays for sledge keepers, skating guides, local cab drivers and many others associated with tourism.

In 2018, as per the official figures, Gulmarg received 5.76 lakh tourists as compared to 5.69 lakh in the preceding year.

The tourism players also expressed satisfaction over the rush of tourists heading to the valley.

President Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation, Wahid Malik said that snowfalls have pushed up the number of tourists visiting the valley.
“Gulmarg saw lesser arrival when winters begun, however, now the snow has ensured all the hotels and resorts are booked,” he said adding that Gulmarg hotels are running on 90 per cent occupancy so far this season.

Gulmarg is declared the ‘heartland of winter sports in India’ by the Winter Games Federation. This year too, Gulmarg Tourism Authority is going to organise winter sports carnival starting from the first week of February.

Additional Director Tourism Department, Nasir Khan said that Gulmarg is “rocking these days as it has received 34,712 and 35,022 tourists in the month of November and December”.

“We are going to organize the winter carnival from the next month to make the place more attractive,” he said.

He added that night market and cultural shows will also be arranged by the department.

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