Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra on Wednesday said the BJP-PDP alliance government was not merely a compulsion to seek power, but an effort to pursue an agenda of bringing closer all regions of the state, while promoting trust among them.
Addressing a joint session of the J&K legislature that marked the beginning of the budget session, Vohra outlined the focussed areas of the government — building an atmosphere of trust among the regions, providing corruption-free governance and making effort to revoke the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and initiate a dialogue with all stake holders in the state.
“The understanding between the coalition partners are symbolised by the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’, a common minimum programme, which forms the basis of the decisive and distinctive changes that the government seeks to bring about in a time-bound manner and bring together the people of our state and the rest of the country,” said the governor.
The PDP and BJP have political bases mainly in Kashmir and Jammu regions, respectively, and the two have divergent political perceptions.
The PDP’s focus area would be to bridge the gap between people of Kashmir and the rest of the country.
The governor said the second most important objective was to reform governance and to make J&K an ethical and corruption-free state.
“The government is determined to show no quarter to corruption and dishonest elements in the administration or those in public life. The State Accountability Commission, the Public Service Commission and the Human Rights Commission are not only non-functional but have been virtually non-existent for quite some time. Top priority will be accorded to restore and revive the institutions and institutional capabilities,” said the governor.
He said the government provided the institutions adequate administrative support and the desired autonomy to enforce the highest standards of probity.
The governor said the government would examine the need for de-notifying ‘disturbed areas’ and this, in turn, would enable the central government to take a final view on the continuation of AFSPA in such areas.
“The government will ensure that all lands, other than the lands, which have been given to the security forces on lease, licence or through acquisition under the provision of the Land Acquisition Act, must be returned to the rightful legal owners within a given time frame,” he said.
The governor in his address said political initiatives would be taken to enlarge the constituency of peace and deepen its societal moorings. The address also made a mention of the steps taken by the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, by stating that he had initiated a dialogue process with all political groups, including the Hurriyat Conference, in the spirit of “Insaaniyat, Kashmiriyat aur Jamhooriyat”.
“The government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, including all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections. This dialogue will seek to build a broad consensus on the resolution of all outstanding issues of J&K,” said the governor.