Ministers begin outreach from Jammu
The three are part of a team of 36 Union ministers who will be in Jammu and Kashmir for the next five days and will attend 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.Updated: Jan 18, 2020 23:27 IST
The first group of Union Ministers comprising Jitendra Singh, Arjun Meghwal and Ashwani Choubey arrived 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 a team of 36 Union ministers who will be in Jammu and Kashmir for the next five days and will attend 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.
Singh, Meghwal and Choubey are scheduled to participate in three functions, one in Jammu and two in Samba in Kathua district, and meet BJP leaders in Jammu.
Their flight, which was diverted to Srinagar in the morning due to bad weather, landed at Jammu Airport late afternoon.
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 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 travel to Srinagar, Bandipore, Ganderbal and Baramulla districts where they will meet 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. It was the first visit by diplomats since the nullification 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 attend functions at Manigam Ganderbal and Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar.
Sripad Naik, Union minister of state for yoga and ayurveda, will attend an official function at the SKICC, where he will be briefed about the ongoing projects of the central government.
Union minister of state Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti will chair a high-level meeting of officials on January 23 and visit Faqir Gujri village in Srinagar. Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhral Nishank will travel to Harwan area on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will travel 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.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to review Internet restrictions and said the “freedom of speech and expression includes the right to internet.”