Act fast on projects in J-K: PM Modi to ministers
The people cited above said Modi is learnt to have told the ministers that in the absence of elected representatives in the erstwhile state, it is imperative that the central leadership monitors the projects.Updated: Jan 24, 2020 00:34 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his Cabinet colleagues to ensure all projects related to Jammu and Kashmir that are underway or have recently been announced should be completed on a war footing to ensure that the Union territory’s people do not lose faith in the government, according to two people aware of the matter.
The people cited above said Modi is learnt to have told the ministers that in the absence of elected representatives in the erstwhile state, it is imperative that the central leadership monitors the projects.
Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government since the summer of 2018 when chief minister Mebooba Mufti’s government collapsed after the BJP withdrew its support to it.
One of the two cited above said the PM specifically mentioned that the government cannot lose the trust of people.
Beginning last week, a group of over 30 Union ministers began an outreach campaign in J&K. They have been tasked to meet people in both Kashmir and Jammu regions and to visit far-flung areas to assess people’s problems.
The outreach comes five months after the nullification of the Constitution’s Article 370, which gave special status to J&K.
The government has maintained that Article 370 was an impediment to the region’s development in the face of much criticism over the communication blackout and lockdown that were imposed ahead of the nullification in August. J&K was also bifurcated into two Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The people cited above said Modi has told the ministers to steer clear of political messaging and instead focus on the development agenda.
The ministers were asked to apprise the people of various central schemes and their benefits.
“He [Modi] told the ministers, who are part of the delegation... to ensure that they keep track of all the projects that they have inaugurated so that these works are completed on time,” said one of the two cited above.
Modi is also learnt to have told the ministers to monitor the projects even if they fall outside the purview of their ministries. “... Modi wants them to take ownership of those projects so that these works are completed as per schedule and benefit people,” said another person aware of the matter.
Modi has instructed the ministers to come up with solutions to address the vacuum in absence of local representatives and to strengthen panchayat and block level representatives.