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Will build schools, colleges, hospitals in J&K, if Cong comes to power: Azad

Monitor News Bureau

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Jammu, Apr 11: Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister of J&K, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the Congress believed in development and progressive work.

The Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with MP candidate from Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency Vikramaditya Singh and Vice President JKPCC, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori conducted extensive tour of Chatroo, Bunjwah areas of Inderwal constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman said in a statement.

Azad said Congress believed in development and progressive work and if the Congress comes to power in the state, we will build more schools, hospitals, colleges and the other institutions in the state. He said Gujjar community has an important role to play in the society. “But unfortunately Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) neglected it since 2014,” Azad said. “Congress party’s manifesto will talk about the welfare and progress of the Gujjar community”. He added that in power, Congress shall provide free education up to Class 12 and free medical treatment to those who belong to Gujjar community. He also said that the party “will make new strict laws so that another shocking incident like Kathua rape and murder does not happen again in the state”.

 

He said that people of Chenab valley hold the key to power and hoped that they will remain steadfast and united in nipping the conspiracies being hatched by outsiders to divide them. Urging the people of Chenab valley to vote wisely and decisively in order to start the momentum to the development process as also maintain their grip on the levers of power in the State, Azad asserted that a united and forceful voice that will rise from this region will earn them respect and dignity in the politico-governance structure of the State. “I am sure people of Chenab valley will display desired unity and strength to march on the journey of politico-economic empowerment and progress”, said Azad and added that this critical juncture it is incumbent upon the people to exercise their vote with sagacity and maturity in order to maintain their relevance and status on the political landscape of the State”.

Urging the people of Chenab valley to vote in favour of Congress party in huge numbers, he said, “it is Congress party alone which has allowed an opportunity to the people of this backward and remote region to carve out space for themselves in the democratic order of the State”, adding “Congress has given a sense of identity to the people of Chenab valley and this is duly acknowledged by the visionary and farsighted people of this region”.

“While we have created new districts and units in Chenab valley for the comfort and convenience of people, in the next tenure my agenda will be creation of a new and creative governance structure matching the developmental needs of the region”, Azad said, adding “I promise empowerment and development to the people of Chenab valley, if they repose trust and confidence in the Congress party”. Claiming credit for setting out Chenab valley on the path of progress and development since 2002 after people of Chenab valley reposed confidence in Congress Party, he said, “I do not say that everything has been achieved but I can say with full conviction that it is Congress party which has demonstrated intentions, will and ability to develop this tough region of the State”.

Unfolding Congress vision for Chenab valley, Azad said that he will strive to make it a modern and progressive region of the State if people repose their faith in favour of Congress candidate, adding “if voted to power, Chenab Valley will be converted into model region with excellent roads, power projects, attractive tourist infrastructure, health facilities, educational institutions, employment opportunities, and above all inter-community faith and harmony which unfortunately has come under threat of late. He appealed to people to vote and support the Congress candidate from the constituency Vikramaditya Singh.


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Kashmir

Caged Mehbooba gets new winter home

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 15: Ending speculations, detained Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti was shifted from Cheshmashahi hut to a ministerial bungalow at Moulana Azad Road Srinagar on Friday.

The development comes 10 days after her daughter Iltija Mufti tweeted a letter she had written to district development commissioner Srinagar urging him to shift her to “suitable location” in view of her falling health.

“As you are aware, my mother Ms Mehbooba Mufti, former CM of J&K has been jailed since August 5. A doctor recently ran multiple tests on her as she wasn’t keeping well. As per those tests, her Vitamin D3, haemoglobin and calcium levels are low,” Iltija had written in her letter.

 

Waking up to Mehbooba’s falling health, J&K government decided to shift her to a location equipped with proper heating arrangements.

Earlier, there were speculations that she might be shifted to Jammu.

However, on Friday government bit the bullet and shifted her to a new location in Srinagar.  “The Cheshmashahi hut where she was under detention is not equipped with adequate heating arrangements. She has been shifted to a posh bungalow which served as an official residence of former deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh. It is equipped with adequate heating arrangements,” a source said.

Mehbooba was detained few hours before Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories on August 5.

The PDP chief earlier refused to meet her party leaders last month fearing it might be projected as normalcy by Centre.

Mehbooba is among three former chief ministers including Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, who have been jailed since August 5. While Farooq, who was slapped with Public Safety Act, has been detained in his home, Omar is lodged at Hari Niwas guest house, which has been designated as sub jail.

Government has also decided to shift political detainees from Centaur Hotel to a private hotel at Shivpora Sonawar.

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Kashmir

Detained politicians refuse to sign bonds

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 15:  Centre’s fresh overtures have failed after incarcerated political leaders refused to sign the bonds to secure early release from jails.

At least 31 leaders of National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference and Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement are under detention at the Centaur Hotel on the banks of Dal Lake since Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories.

Sources said authorities approached detainees several times in recent past to persuade them to sign a bond for their release. “Farooq, Omar, and Mehbooba have also been approached several times by authorities. They however have refused to sign the bond. These leaders are adamant and they won’t budge an inch from their stand on Article 370 and bifurcation of state,” sources said.

 

Officials said leaders will face prolonged detention and won’t be released unless they sign a bond. “Political leaders will be shifted from Centaur Hotel to a hotel in Sonawar or MLA hostel Srinagar,” they said.

Mehbooba’s daughter Iltija Mufti confirmed that government made several attempts to get her mother sign a bond, which she refused. “I don’t know when exactly she was recently approached for signing on bond”, she said.

National Conference MP from Anantnag, Justice (retd) Hasnian Masoodi said detention of political leaders was “unjustified without any legal grounds”.

“Why should political leaders sign bond to secure their release?  Signing bonds will mean that were against peace. Government should understand what position they (political detainees) have held and their detention is unjustified,” Masoodi said.

Detainees are supposed to deposit Rs 10,000 as surety. And in case they breach the bond, they have to pay Rs 40,000.  Under Section 107, the bail bond asks detainees “not to commit a breach of peace” or “do an act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace”.

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Kashmir

PDD to issue curtailment schedule next week:More power cuts in offing

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 16: Valleyities have all reasons to worry as darker nights are in the offing with Power Development Department (PDD) issuing electricity curtailment schedule in next four days. 

Kashmir has been facing abrupt power cuts since November 7, when valley received season’s first snowfall.

An official of Power Development Department said there would be further reduction in power supply from next week.

 

“There will be at least 6-hour power curtailment in metered areas and over 8-hour load shedding in non-metered areas of Srinagar district,” the official said. 

In other districts, the official said, there will be 6 to 8 hours power curtailment in metered areas and over 8-hours in non-metered areas.

As per rules, metered areas are bound to get round the clock power supply.

Chief Engineer, Power Development Department, Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi  told The Kashmir Monitor hat there is a need for power curtailment schedule in view of the increase in demand.

“We did not curtail power this year till snowfall hit Kashmir on November 7. The load has increased now. We are framing power curtailment schedule which will be issued within three to four days,” he said.          

On chances of any improvement in power supply this year, he said it all depends on the people. “If they use electricity judiciously, then there will be improvement in power supply. We have to optimize things from available resources.”

The PDD has 1200 MWs of electricity available. However, during winters, the demand reaches over 2000 MWs.

Centre has been allotting additional 700 MWs of power to Jammu and Kashmir in view of higher demand in winters.  However, PDD has failed to augment existing infrastructure to receive additional electricity from the central grids.   

At the same time, PDD is yet to restore electricity in various parts of Kashmir since November 7.

 “Towers have collapsed at various places resulting electricity could not be restored in Magam, Beerwah, Arizal and Khaag areas,” Qazi said.

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