STATE TIMES NEWS NEW DELHI: Making a serious charge, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said on Sunday that Kashmir is weary of leaders elected with mere 10 per cent vote, who then make it to Lok Sabha or State Assembly with the vested interest of perpetuating political dominance by a few families and a few individuals. In an exclusive interactive programme conducted by Rajya Sabha TV, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the tragedy of Kashmir politicians is that they are still clinging on to the past, without realizing that the common voter comprising 70 per cent of youth has already moved on. If today, he said, an election is held in a free atmosphere with reasonable voter turn-out, people will outrightly reject these politicians who have, over the last several decades, thrived on low voter turn-out. When asked about the reasons behind the confidence with which he has been repeatedly saying that terrorism in Kashmir is in its last phase, Dr Jitendra Singh said, his confidence is based on the fact that nobody in Kashmir today wants the terrorism to continue except for a handful of politicians who have developed a vested interest in contesting and winning elections in an insecure atmosphere, but the people have now understood their selfish designs and are keen to get rid of them. Refuting the allegations of weakening the RTI Act through the RTI Amendment Bill introduced by him in the Lok Sabha, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Amendment is in fact meant to streamline and institutionalize the functioning of Information Commission. The RTI Act 2005 was framed by the UPA government in haste, and the Modi government is only trying to fill in the missing links, he said. Reiterating the Modi government’s emphasis on performance with integrity, Dr Jitendra Singh justified recent orders for premature retirement of a number of such officials whose integrity was under doubt or performance was not found up to the mark. He justified lateral entry into the services, saying that in the emerging scenario of developed India, the nation deserves the best of talent from whatever source available, to handle some of the most innovative, original and specialised new schemes introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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