STATE TIMES NEWSKATHUA: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said that Jammu and Kashmir will get true “self-rule” and true “autonomy” under Narendra Modi, which will be quite in contrast to the frivolous slogans of “self-rule” and “autonomy” with which the Kashmir-centric rulers had befooled the people of the State for decades together, only to perpetuate their dynasty rule, generation after generation. Addressing a meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates contesting Block Development Council (BDC) elections, Sarpanchs and Panchs, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it is important for us to understand and also make others understand that, this is for the first time after independence, that the concept of three-tier grass root democracy comprising Panchayats, Block Development Councils and District Councils is being introduced in Jammu & Kashmir, even though this arrangement exists in other parts of India. Dr Jitendra Singh said, the question to be asked to the champions of so – called “autonomy” is whether they have any moral authority to fool the people of Kashmir in the name of autonomy when they boycotted the Panchayat and BDC elections which are meant to confer autonomy to the representatives elected at the village level. Similarly, he said, the champions of “self-rule” must reply, which “self-rule” are they talking about when their own government resisted all efforts to hold Panchayat elections and when the election did happen in Governor’s rule, they boycotted it. The response to both Panchayat and BDC elections has been enthusiastic in the Kashmir valley also and the highest number of candidates for BDC election are not from any district in Jammu region but from district Kupwara and district Baramulla, he said.
For the first time, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed, the Central Grant has already started reaching directly to the local bodies, as a result of which, many of the Panchayats have already received Rs. 20 to 30 lakh in the first phase itself, which is more than the total amount received by them in the last several decades. Will the Congress party answer, why they were hesitant in introducing this provision in Jammu & Kashmir, even though it was brought in by their own Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and whether by doing so, were they not hand in glove with the Kashmir-centric dynasties seeking to appease certain section of voters, at the cost of the poor man living in rural areas.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Article 370 is gone and now it is up to us to liberate our minds from Article 370 because still sometimes it appears that we are not able to get over the subdued psyche to which we were subjected for years together. A new era of equitable growth and self- confidence has begun and it is for us to prepare ourselves to avail the best of it, he added.
Hitting out at Congress, National Conference (NC) and PDP which had predicted an earthquake if Article 370 was revoked, Dr Jitendra Singh said, they too have accepted that the people across the sections have welcomed this revocation and that is why now they do not have the courage to utter the word “Article 370”.
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