Panchayats in J&K will get grants directly after elections: Modi

Calls for equal development of all 3 regions
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the Government was moving ahead for holding Panchayat and Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir and will release grants directly to Panchs which will lead to infrastructure development in the State even as he maintained that his Government will follow Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s formula of `Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat’ on J&K.
In his Independence Day Address from ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi yesterday, Modi called for balanced and equal development of all three regions of the State including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
“Hundreds of Panchs drawn from many villages of Jammu and Kashmir met me. They wanted elections to be held to the Panchayats as their grants (running into several crores) have been blocked. They will get the grants in the coming few months as the Government was moving ahead towards holding Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State in next few months,” Modi said.
Asserting that there are massive grants, which are directly given to the elected Panchs, he said: “the Panchayats will start getting these grants (once the elections are held to them)”.
Excelsior had recently exclusively reported that the Central Government has agreed to release grants of Panchayats and Municipalities, which had been blocked in the absence of elected bodies, following assurance given by the State Government that it has seriously initiated the process to hold elections to the two bodies.
Nearly Rs 1000 crore worth Central grants meant for Panchayats and Municipalities had been blocked by the Centre which included Rs 700 crore for Panchayats and Rs 300 crore for Municipalities of Jammu and Kashmir in the absence of elected bodies.
Invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi said Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji had shown the roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir and his path is correct.
“We want to follow the roadmap shown by him,” he said.
“Atalji called for Insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat (Kashmiri culture) and Jamhooriyat (democracy). I also said that the issues in Kashmir can be resolved with the same approach. Vajpayee’s path was correct. We want to follow this approach on Jammu and Kashmir. We will work in this direction,” Modi said.
He added that his Government wants to move ahead by embracing the people of Jammu and Kashmir and not with bullet and abuses. During last year’s Independence Day Address too, Modi had called for embracing the people of Kashmir (to solve the problem). “Na Goli Se Na Gali Se, Baat Banegi Gale Lagane Se” (Neither will bullet nor with abusive, the issue will be settle by embracing the people),” he had said in his August 15, 2017 Address.
“We want aspirations of the common man to be fulfilled in Jammu and Kashmir.
His Government, the Prime Minister said, wants balanced and equal development of all three regions of Jammu and Kashmir in which hopes and aspirations of people are fulfilled and infrastructure is developed in the entire State.
The Prime Minister strongly lauded Army and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) for creating peaceful environment in the country with their sheer hard work.
He paid homage to the freedom fighters and martyrs. He saluted the jawans of the security forces and police forces. He recalled in particular, the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which happened on Baisakhi day in 1919.
Modi emphasized on the vision of Housing for All, Power for All, Clean Cooking for All, Water for All, Sanitation for All, Skill for All, Health for All, Insurance for All and Connectivity for All.
He said that he is impatient, anxious and keen to see India progress, eliminate malnutrition, and to see Indians get a better quality of life.