With completing four years in power, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday went into election mode after he announced "fast track recruitment of 80,000 educated youth in government service through service selection agencies within next few months".
Addressing a rally of Panches and Sarpanches in Srinagar, Omar Abdullah claimed that employment generation in government and private sectors has been flagged as top most concern by his government.
"We have already set in motion a mechanism to fill up vacancies in government departments as fast as possible", a government spokesman quoted him as saying.
Omar took oath as the youngest-ever chief minister of Kashmir on January 2009. Although promising to heal the wounds of a region hit by two decades of violence, his period saw two consecutive years of unrest with over 110 youths falling to the bullets of security forces in 2010.
With New Delhi behind him, Abdullah came out of the crisis and became the first chief minister of the state in the past decade to hold the office for more than three years. For the peaceful years of 2011 and 2012, panchayat elections were held after a gap of 30 years.
Kashmir will be going to elections by the end of year 2014.
The CM expressed the intention of government for stipend and insurance cover of Sarpanches and Panches to make provision in the next year's Budget irrespective of getting any financial support from the Centre.
"We have taken up this issue with the Centre for funds", he said promising the provision in the next Budget if centre does not provide help. "This is likely to involve Rs 100 crores annually", he added.
Omar was explicit in lashing out at the opposition parties while narrating the government's achievements since 2009. "Our report card is before the people and they will judge us by our performance. We are not the ones who will sign their own Annual Percentage Rates. We will ask the people to go through our performance and give their verdict in next elections in 2014", Omar said.
Referring to Peoples' Democratic Party, he claimed that they did nothing during their tenure to launch even a single power project. "Instead they scuttled the 1200 MW Sawalkote Power Project signed by Farooq-led government. How do they expect growth and increase in power when they did nothing during their tenure", he asked.
Earlier in the day, the CM inaugurated a Nursing College and Genetic study Centre, and laid foundation of OPD emergency Block at Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences.