Athawale says Assembly polls in J&K may be held shortly

‘Had Rahul apologized, disqualification would have been avoided’

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Mar 24: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale today predicted that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir may be held shortly while the Government of India is also hoped to positively consider the restoration of Statehood to the Union Territory at appropriate time.
“Government of India will soon give people of J&K their right to vote and Assembly elections may be held shortly,” he said while talking to media persons, here today.
Reminding that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had already assured restoration of Statehood to J&K at appropriate time, Athawale hoped that the Government of India would positively take a decision on the same in future.
Responding to a query, the Union Minister claimed that Rahul Gandhi would not have been disqualified from Lok Sabha had he apologized for his alleged critical remarks about Indian democracy.
“The decision taken by the Speaker Om Birla is right. It was necessary to punish Rahul Gandhi, The issue of the court is a separate thing,” he said while justifying the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s decision to disqualify the Congress leader.
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“Rahul Gandhi is the leader of Congress. He has remained president of the party. Congress party has remained in power for 60-70 years. Rahul Gandhi should have known that he should not speak against the country after travelling outside the country. We have a democracy and the country is governed by the Constitution given to us by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar,” he said.
The Union Minister stressed that the Central Government was committed to develop Jammu and Kashmir at all fronts. “Article 370 and 35- A being the obstacles in the development of J&K were revoked for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which is now moving fast on the path of development and progress with extension of all Central laws and schemes here,” he said.
Athawale said, development, peace and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir is the top priority of the Prime Minister Modi led Government which is evident now with the beginning of investment of thousands of crores in different sectors in the UT for the welfare of the people.
“Since the abrogation of Article 370, the gates of development have opened for J&K which is evident from the fact that all the Centrally Sponsored Schemes and programmes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana, MUDRA, PM Ujjwala Yojana, scholarship schemes for students, welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes are now implemented in J&K,” he said.
Athawale further said, hundred percent implementation of many Central schemes in J&K is the outcome of the steadfast approach of Government of India to provide social stability at all fronts be it housing, livelihood etc to the people of J&K.
The Minister said that under PM Narendra Modi, implementation of the social welfare schemes has picked up pace in J&K which is evident from the fact that under PM Jan Dhan Yojana, between 2014-2023 (March), 48 crores and 36 lakh accounts were opened out of which 26 lakh & 32 thousand accounts have been opened in J&K, under PM Ujjwala Yojana between 2016-22 (March), 12 lakh 45 thousand gas connections have been allotted to the beneficiaries in J&K, under PM Awas Yojana (Urban) between 2015-23 (March), 20 thousand 7 hundred houses have been constructed in J&K, under PM Awas Yojana (Rural) between 2014-23 (March), 13 thousand 8 hundred houses have been constructed in J&K, under PM Jan Arogya Yojana, 07 lakh 66 thousand have been benefited in J&K and under Ujala Yojana, 84 lakh 86 thousand LED bulbs have been issued in J&K.
The Minister also informed that between 2019-23 (March), 1720 de-addiction centres have been either funded or established under Financial Assistance for the establishment of De-addiction Centres.