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Spread message of development in JK: PM tells union ministers

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Jan 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told the group of union ministers visiting Jammu and Kashmir to spread the message of development among the people not only in the urban areas but also in the villages of the Valley, sources said.

As part of a massive outreach programme, 36 central ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir starting from Saturday.

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers here, the prime minister asked the ministers to spread the message of development during their interaction with the locals, the sources said.

 

They were also asked to spread the message about the various central schemes which will benefit at the grass-roots level.

He said the ministers should not restrict themselves to the urban areas but meet people in villages also to inform about the developmental work carried out by the central government in Jammu and Kashmir.

The 36 Union ministers will visit different districts in both the divisions of the Union Territory starting from January 18 to January 24 and the home ministry is coordinating it.

Central ministers’ J&K public outreach begins

Agencies

Srinagar, Jan 18: After a brief disruption due to bad weather, a group of three union ministers continued with their public outreach programme in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the morning, the flight could not land in Jammu due to bad weather and was diverted to Srinagar. But in the afternoon, the group of ministers headed back to Jammu.

On Saturday, Union minister Jitender Singh visited Jammu city, Arjun Ram Meghwal went to Samba parmandal and Ashwini Choubey to Samba chachwal.

A group of 36 ministers begin their week-long public outreach programme in Jammu and Kashmir starting Saturday. Over the next one week, Union ministers Smriti Irani, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Arjun Ram Meghwal, G. Muralidharan, Anurag Thakur, Piyush Goyal, Aswini Choubey, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, G. Krishnan Reddy, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will be visiting the union territory.

“The 36 ministers will visit 60 locations across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” said government spokesman Rohit Kansal at a press conference in Jammu.

The ministers will hold public meetings at panchayat and block levels and inform the people about various schemes launched by the Centre particularly after the abrogation of Article 370 and how those programmes and schemes will benefit the people.

Scheduled for January 18 to 24, the visit by 38 ministers to the newly formed UT was aimed at spreading words about the government’s policies, particularly those taken in the last five months after the abrogation of Article 370.

According to government sources, there will be 51 visits to Jammu and eight to Srinagar.

Meghwal was scheduled to visit Samba’s Puramandal area, Choubey Samba’s Chajjwal and Singh Jammu city. They were to hold meet work

On Sunday, Smriti Irani will visit Katra and Panthal areas in Reasi district while her cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal will be in Jammu’s Akhnoor region, Mahendra Nath Pandey in Jammu’s Dansal, Meghwal in Kathua’s Basholi and V. Muraleedharan in Kathua’s Bilawar.

On January 20, Union Minister General V.K. Singh (retired) will visit Udhampur’s Tikri region while Pratap Sarangi will be Kathua’s Ramkoat region and R.K. Singh in Doda’s Ghat region. On the same day, Debashree Choudary will be in Marh region in Jammu.

On January 21, Kiren Rijiju will visit Jammu’s Suchetgarh, Kishan Pal Singh Gujjar will be in Poonch’s Mandi and Gen V.K. Singh in Udhampur’s Chenani.

On the same day, Nitin Gadkari will be in Rajouri district, Kailash Choudary in Samba’s Vijaypur, Sarangi in Kathua, Gajendra Singh Sekhawat in Kathua’s Hiranagar, Anurag Thakur in Jammu’s Khour, Arjun Munda in Raesi’s Pouni, Hardeep Singh Puri in Rajaouri’s Sunderbani, while Thawar Chand Gehlot will be in Poonch’s Surankote region.

Sanjay Dhotre will be in Rajaouri’s Kalakote and Santosh Kumar will visit Ramban’s Batote region.

On January 22, Union Minister Purushottam Rupala will be in Jammu’s RS Pura, Gujjar in Poonch, Prahalad Singh Patel in Udhampur’s Ramnagar, Chaudary in Samba’s Cakrambagh, Sekhawat in Kathua’s Barnoti, and Patel in Udhampur’s Majalta region.

On the same day, Renuka Singh will visit Udhampur’s Khoon region, Munda will be in Raesi’s Arnas, Som Prakash will be in Jammu’s Bhalwal, Thawar Chand Gehlot in Poonch’s Balakote, Sanjay Dhotre in Rajouri’s Nowshera, Gangwar in Ramban’s Chanderkote, Faggan Singh Kulaste in Poonch and Rao Saheb Patil Danve in Rajopuri’s Manjakote.

On January 23, Rupala will be visiting Jammu’s Miran Sahib region, while Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti will be visiting Raesi’s Bhomag. Suresh C Angadi will be in Jammu’s Bishnah and Som Prakash in Raesi’s Thakrakot.

On the same day, Kulaste will be visiting Poonch’s Mankote and Rameshwar Teli will be visiting Ramban district headquarters.

On January 24, Prahlad Joshi will visit Rajaouri’s Kotranka while Giriraj Singh will be in Udhampur’s Chenani.

This will be the second round of visit to Jammu and Kashmir by Union ministers after the abrogation of Article 370 which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier this month, in one of the meetings of the Council of Ministers, a presentation was made on the development initiatives taken by the Centre following the imposition of Governor’s rule in the region.

Only Modi could have scrapped Art 370: Jitendra Singh

Agencies

Jammu, Jan 18: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that India had to wait for long for scrapping the Article 370 of the Constitution as even god willed that only a great man like Prime Minister Narendra Modi must “undertake such a pious initiative.” “Perhaps we had to wait for so long (for the scrapping of Article 370) because even God willed that a great man like Prime Minister Narendra Modi must undertake this pious initiative),” said Singh in his address to a gathering here.

Singh is the part of a delegation of Union Ministers visiting Jammu and Kashmir to interact with the people of different districts and educate them on various issues including the development work since the imposition of the President’s Rule from June 2018 and after the re-organisation of Jammu and Kashmir in last August. Singh said that the year 2019 proved to be historic for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and will pave way for the development of the region.

“2019 was a historic year for India as a whole, a year which gave India a new dimension, a renewed confidence. 2019 was a year of redemption,” he said. Singh’s address was aimed at — what the officials said — disseminating information about the importance of the Centre’s policies for the overall development of the Union Territory and its people along with the steps taken by the government, particularly in the last five months after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile State.

The Union Minister said that the decision to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories was taken by the Centre “with due diligence and research.”


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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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