5 months after bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir, Govt launches outreach programme
The first group of Union Ministers comprising Jitendra Singh, Arjun Meghwal and Ashwani Choubey will arrive in Jammu on Saturday to spread awareness about central schemes implemented after the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The three are part of team of 36 Union ministers who will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir in the next five days and will be attending government functions in different parts of the newly created Union Territory as part of the Centre’s outreach programme, more than five months after Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two states.
Jitendra Singh, Arjun Meghwal and Ashwini Choubey are scheduled to participate in three functions one in Jammu and two in Samba in Kathua district and meet BJP leaders in Jammu.
On Sunday, 10 Union ministers are scheduled to arrive in Jammu. On January 21, Union Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will lead another delegation of ministers to Kashmir.
Brigadier (retd) Anil Gupta, a BJP spokesperson in J&K, told HT that the ministers will review the implementation of schemes after the removal of Article 370. “Mostly these will be government functions like back to village programmes. They will make people aware about central schemes.”
In Kashmir the Union ministers will be traveling to Srinagar, Bandipore, Ganderbal and Baramulla districts where they will be meeting government officials, BJP workers and civilians.
The government’s outreach comes on the heels of a two-day visit by a group of at least 15 foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month to see the government’s efforts to restore normalcy in the region. It was the first visit by diplomats since the abrogation of J&K’s special status in August last year.
Officials privy to the details told HT that Union minister of state for home, G Kishen Reddy will be attending functions at Manigam Ganderbal and Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) Srinagar.
Sripad Naik, Union minister of state for yoga and ayurveda will be attending an official function at SKICC where he will be briefed about the ongoing projects of central government initiated in various fields.
Union minister of state Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti will be chairing a high level meeting of officials on January 23 and will be visiting to Faqir Gujri village which falls in Srinagar district. Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhral Nishank will travelling to Harwan area on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Union law minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad will be traveling to north Kashmir’s Baramulla district where he will attend a government function at Sopore and also chair a high level meeting of officials.
On Sunday, Union Minister, Smriti Irani is scheduled to visit Katra, Piyush Goyal will visit Akhnoor, Meghwal will attend a programme at Basholi, V Muraleedharan will visit Bilawar, Anurag Thakur will be at Nagrota, Jitendra Singh will be at Udhampur and Ashwini Choubey is scheduled to visit Samba.
The Centre has been trying to project that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is normal despite the internet being suspended. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to review the restrictions and said that “freedom of speech and expression includes right to internet.”