Hurdles surfaced in meeting people’s expectations after Mufti’s death: PM

Hopes Pak Govt will work for region free of terror

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that after the demise of former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, there were hurdles in fulfilling expectations of the people for which the BJP had formed coalition Government with the PDP and to keep people’s interests above political interests, the BJP opted out of power.
Asserting that the Central Government was committed to holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi also expressed Government’s commitment to strengthen local self Government at the village level (a reference towards Panchayat elections) saying this was becoming increasingly difficult in the previous Government.
In two separate interviews to a national news agency and a newspaper, Modi said the mandate given by the people of Jammu and Kashmir during the last Assembly elections (held in 2014) was towards formation of Government jointly by the BJP and PDP as there was no other alternative.
“The people’s mandate during the State Assembly elections was towards formation of Government jointly by BJP and PDP. Also, in that situation, there was no other alternative. That is why, to fulfill the people’s expectations, we formed the coalition Government,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi said after the sad demise of Mufti Sahab, there were hurdles in fulfilling those expectations for which the coalition Go-vernment had been formed.
“For BJP, people’s inte-rest is above political interests and that is why without casting any aspersions, we opted out of power, he added.
Asserting that the Bharatiya Janata Party is always with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and is ready to fulfill their dreams, Modi said: “this importantly includes deepening the roots of democracy in the State right down to the Panchayat and Village levels. We made efforts to strengthen local self-government at the village level but in that coalition Government it was becoming increasingly tough to do so”.
The Prime Minister’s statement virtually indicted Mehbooba Mufti Gover-nment for failure to hold Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir for which the Central Government including Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had repeatedly asked the State Government to take initiative. Governor NN Vohra was also in forefront advising the Government to hold Panchayat elections. The State Government did start the process to hold Panchayat elections in January this year but abandoned it in February after holding an All Party Meeting.
Modi said the Central Government is committed to holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir across the regions of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir valley.
The Prime Minister hoped that new Pakistan Government would work for prosperous region, free from terror and violence.
“I have always said that we wish to have good neighbourly relations with Pakistan. We have also taken various initiatives in this regard. I recently congratulated Imran Khan on his victory in the elections. We hope that Pakistan would work for a safe, secure, stable and prosperous region, free from terror and violence,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said India and China have a border dispute but the fact that they have not even ‘fired a single bullet at each other’ in the last four decades shows their maturity.
Modi spoke about Doklam, a disputed border area in Bhutan, where Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a stand-off for more than two months last year. The standoff was resolved in late August 2017 when the two countries agreed to withdraw their troops, and Beijing indicated it had halted work on a road that triggered the row.
“There have been occasional incidents in the border areas due to differing perceptions about the Line of Actual Control. However, both countries have always managed to resolve these incidents peacefully through dialogue on the ground as well as through diplomatic channels. During the last four decades not a single bullet has been fired across the India-China border and peace and tranquility have been maintained in border areas. This shows that we are both mature countries, capable of peacefully resolving our differences,” Modi said.
In this connection, he pointed out that his informal summit with President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan in April 2018 allowed the two countries to build trust.
“We have been meeting regularly on the sidelines of multilateral summits as well. Such frequent interactions and close communication have been very useful in building mutual trust at the leadership level and allowing it to percolate to other levels. We look forward to receiving President Xi in India in the coming year for our next informal summit,” the Prime Minister said.
He added that both India and China are members of various multilateral mechanisms. From environment to trade to reform of institutions of global governance, there are a number of issues of global importance where India and China have a long history of cooperation and leadership,” he said.
Countering the picture projected by Opposition of a gloomy economic situation and claims of rising unemployment, Modi said that more than one crore jobs have been created in the last one year, hence, the campaign of lack of jobs needs to stop now.
The Prime Minister said when economy is growing at a faster pace, in fact fastest among the major economies, how will the jobs market not expand? He said employment generation is also evident from 45 lakh new subscribers in the Employee Provident Fund and 5.68 lakh people joining the New Pension Scheme in the last nine months.
“All this has led to creation of more than one crore jobs only in the last year. Thus, the campaign that jobs have not been created must come to a halt now. People are not going to buy it anymore,” he added.
He allayed concerns that the National Register for Citizens (NRC) will exclude Indian citizens and assured all opportunities will be given to people to get their concerns addressed.
“Only those who have lost faith in themselves, fear loss of popular support and lack faith in our Institutions can use words like ‘civil war’, ‘blood bath’ etc. Evidently, they are disconnected from the pulse of the nation. As far as Mamata ji’s stand is concerned, she should remember what she said on the floor of the Parliament in 2005. Was that Mamata ji correct or is this Mamata ji correct”?, he asked
Charging the Congress with playing politics over the NRC, Modi said the roots of the NRC go back to three decades, when Rajiv Gandhi had to bow to public pressure and sign the Assam Accord. Since then, Assam voted Congress several times but the party did nothing about it and kept misleading the people.
“Congress knew a problem exists but allowed it to fester for decades because they were guided by vote bank politics. I want to assure the people that no citizen of India will have to leave the country. As per the due process, all possible opportunities will be given to get their concerns addressed. The NRC was a promise of ours, which we are fulfilling under the guidance of the Supreme Court. It is not about politics but about people. If someone is making it about Rajneeti, it is extremely unfortunate. Our job in the political class is to work according to the will of the people and do what they have given us the mandate for,” the Prime Minister said.