In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Modi govt committed to equitable dev of 3 regions of JK: President

New Delhi, Jan 31: President Ram Nath Kovind Thursday said the Modi government was committed to equitable development of the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir and has created a favourable environment for it.

Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session, Kovind also highlighted the peaceful conclusion of Panchayat elections in the state recently, saying 70 per cent voters participated in the polls “enthusiastically”.

 

“My government is committed to equitable development of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. As a result of the efforts of my government, an environment favourable to development has been created in the state,” he said.

Kovind said the NDA government was committed to the development of Jammu and Kashmir and had announced a package of Rs 80,000 crore and projects related to infrastructure, health and education sectors worth more than Rs 66,000 crore have already been approved so far.

“Recently, in Jammu and Kashmir, elections to urban local bodies after an interval of 13 years and in Panchayats after 7 years have been conducted peacefully with more than 70 per cent voters participating enthusiastically,” he said.

BJP strengthened democracy in Kashmir: Shah

Press Trust of India

New Delhi, Jan 31: BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday said the Modi government has strengthened the democracy at grass-root level in Jammu and Kashmir, which was mainly ruled by “two families”.

Addressing the party’s national minority convention, Shah said the BJP has strengthened democracy in the valley by holding local body elections in the state and strengthening the sarpanchs there.

“People kept on saying Kashmir, Kashmir, Kashmir… It has been ruled by two families… Abdullah family and the Mufti family. Local body elections were not held for more than a decade in the state. The BJP government ensured that local body elections should happen in the state to strengthen the hands of sarpanchs,” Shah said.

The BJP chief’s remarks come months after his party withdrew support from the Mehbooba Mufti-led government in the state. PDP and the BJP had entered into an alliance after the 2014 assembly elections threw a fractured mandate.

Describing the local body election in the valley as a “big achievement”, Shah said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre ensured the rights of sarpanchs and councillors and also allocated funds to them.

“It (local body elections) was a big achievement to strengthen democracy in the state at the ground level,” Shah said, adding that only Modi government can ensure the safety of the country against terrorism.

Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir were held for the first time in the last 13 years in October 2018. In total, municipal elections have been held in the state only five times since 1947.