3 Union Ministers arrive to kick-start massive outreach campaign
STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi/Jammu: 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, 38 central ministers will visit 60 locations in Jammu and Kashmir starting from Saturday, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said after a review meeting in Jammu. At a meeting of the Council of Ministers in New Delhi, 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 the people at grassroots 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 38 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. There will be 51 visits to Jammu and eight to Srinagar. Union minister Smriti Irani will visit Katra and Panthal areas of Reasi district on January 19, while on the same day her cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal will be in Srinagar.
Whereas Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy will be in Ganderbal on January 22 and Manigam on January 23, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will visit Sopore in Baramulla district on January 24.
V K Singh is scheduled to visit Tikri in Udhampur on January 20 while Kiren Rijiju will go to Suchetgarh in Jammu on January 21.
Similarly, Union ministers R K Singh will visit Khellani in Doda district and Shripad Naik will hold a meeting at SKICC in Srinagar.
Besides them, Union ministers Anurag Thakur, Giriraj Singh, Pralhad Joshi, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Jitendra Singh are among other ministers who will visit different districts during the period.
Meanwhile, three Union Ministers reached here this evening to kick-start a week-long massive awareness of the Centre to apprise people of the potential benefits of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status after nullification of Article 370, officials said.
The ministers — Arjun Meghwal, Ashwini Choubey and Jitendra Singh — were scheduled to reach here in the morning but their flight could not land here due to “poor visibility” due to fog and was diverted to Srinagar, they said.
After waiting for several hours in Srinagar, the ministers finally reached Jammu this evening to launch the awareness programme under which a total of 36 Union ministers will visit different parts of the Union territory to interact with people during the next six days.
As part of the programme, the 36 ministers are visiting J&K this week to participate in 60 public interactions at various places in the Union territory,” Principal Secretary to the J&K government Rohit Kansal told reporters here.
Kansal, who is also the government spokesperson, said the visiting ministers would interact with people and speak to them on the theme of development.
He said the administration has decided to ensure 100 percent coverage for the eligible J&K residents to 55 beneficiaries oriented schemes in the Union territory.
“In addition, the focus will be on rapid infrastructure development, the implementation of the Prime Ministers Development Package (PMDP), flagship schemes, iconic projects, good governance, rule of law, equal opportunities to all, rapid industrial growth with employment and rapid economic growth in all sectors of the economy with a special focus on income enhancement for all,” he said.
Reacting to the outreach programme from January 18 to 24, J&K National Panthers Party chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh questioned as to how such a “collective march” of Central ministers would benefit people of the new UT.
No gimmickry could now beguile them. They were fast realising that J&K was being used as an electoral trump card by saffron party to brighten its prospects in elections across the country,” he said, adding slogans like Article 370 were being used to promote the party in other parts of the country without addressing the genuine concerns of the people of J&K post reorganization.
“The Centre has failed to come up with a law on domicile so as to protect the jobs and lands of locals despite its loud pronouncements. The internet services continued to be blocked despite categorical directives of the Supreme Court to review the gag order,” the NPP leader said.
He said rather than visiting the Union Territory to fulfil their urge for “photogenic teleshoots”, the BJP leadership might as well restore the civil liberties and other democratic rights of the people of J&K who are bearing the brunt of a “dictatorial, authoritarian” regime.
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