NEW DELHI, Aug 31 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that Article 370 blocked the Northeast’s successful initiatives from being introduced in Jammu & Kashmir, for reasons which were frivolous or self-righteous.
As a result, he said, while in the last five years, with the personal indulgence and patronage from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the North Eastern region of India underwent revolutionary transformation which is being lauded all over, unfortunately Jammu & Kashmir, despite several similarities with the Northeast, could not avail of the highest priority accorded by the Modi government to far flung and peripheral States.
Speaking to media after presiding over a meeting of senior officials of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) and the North Eastern Council (NEC), Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that a team of DoNER Ministry has been deputed to tour J&K and suggest how best the Northeast’s successful initiatives in areas like fruit industry, handicraft, horticulture, handloom, organic farming, home-tourism, bamboo entrepreneurship,rural livelihood, etc could be replicated in J&K and Ladakh. The Northeast model of development is there before us and there is no reason why it cannot be implemented in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, in many ways Jammu & Kashmir suffers from lesser constraints compared to North Eastern region. For example, he said, J&K has much better connectivity with frequent rail service and short duration air flights as well as all-weather four-lane road connection with the rest of the country. In spite of this, he said, the question that we must address is why J&K could not be benefited by an equal transformational progress compared to possibly more difficult terrain of North Eastern region.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh were denied of the enormous transformation brought about by the Modi government and expressed confidence that after the abrogation of Article 370 and reorganization of the region after 31st October, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will be able to progress at the same pace and scale.