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Home / India News / 5 Union ministers to begin Kashmir visits from today

5 Union ministers to begin Kashmir visits from today

On Tuesday Union Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will visit Faqir Gujri village in Dara panchayat on the outskirts of Srinagar.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2020 04:44 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
A man carries hay on his back as he walks on a wooden bridge in Shopian, South Kashmir.
A man carries hay on his back as he walks on a wooden bridge in Shopian, South Kashmir. (Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

Out of 36 Union ministers, who are currently on Jammu and Kashmir visit, only five will travel to three districts of Kashmir from Tuesday as part of Centre’s outreach programme after the nullification of Article 370, according to officials.

For four days, five Union ministers -- Communications, Electronics & Information Technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, minister of state for defence Shripad Naik and minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy -- will attend eight government and public programs, according to officials.

Most of these programs, according to the BJP office bearers, are government programs to make people aware about Centre’s developmental schemes, initiated in J&K after revocation of Article 370, after which the state was converted into a Union Territory.

On Tuesday Union Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will visit Faqir Gujri village in Dara panchayat on the outskirts of Srinagar. He will lay the foundation stone for a high school in the Dara area. He will also lay the foundation stone for the water conservation project at Sarband in the Harwan area.

MoS Home, G Kishan Reddy will be in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on a two-day visit from Wednesday. On Friday, he will chair a function at Police Training College Ganderbal,

On a two-day visit starting Thursday, Prasad will attend a function at Dak Banglow in Baramulla and also inaugrate a Sports Complex there .

Union Minister Naik will be attending a function at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), Srinagar on Thursday.

Union minister for rural development Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will travel to Harwan and also attend a public meeting at the city centre on Friday while Prasad will attend a public and official meeting at Dak Sopore town of Baramulla district.

Meanwhile, leaders of different political parties termed these visits “an optics to hide the failure of the Centre”.

J&K Congress president, Ghulam Ahmad Mir said, “The ministers are not bringing any developmental projects instead they are inaugurating old projects on which erstwhile state funds were utilised.”

National Conference leader and MP from Anantnag, Hasnain Masoodi described the visit as a photo op to give an “impression that developmental projects have started” in Kashmir. “J&K was way ahead in many segments before removal of Article 370. They (BJP) created an euphoria that removal of Article 370 will bring lot of development to J&K. Slowly it’s vanishing . By these visits, BJP leadership wanted to create an impression that they are bringing lot of projects to J&K, which is untrue.”

Slamming the visits, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman Tahir Sayeed said “Our state was better developed than states which are being ruled by BJP for more than a decade now. They are not getting any big projects to J&K but inaugrating the old projects...”

BJP state spokesman Altaf Thakur said that this is for the first time in last 70 years when Union Ministers are visiting farflung areas to solve the problems of common masses. “It became only possible when Article 370 was removed and J&K stated getting benifits of all central schemes.”

(With inputs from PTI)