KATHUA, Oct 20: Lambasting the dynastic parties including National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for misleading the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the name of so called autonomy and self rule, Union Minister of State in PMO with Independent charge of North Eastern States, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Jammu & Kashmir will get true “self-rule” and “autonomy” under Narendra Modi Government.
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Addressing a meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates contesting Block Development Council (BDC) elections, Sarpanches and Panches, here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said this will be quite in contrast to the frivolous slogans of “self-rule” and “autonomy” with which the Kashmir-centric rulers had befooled the people of the State for decades together, only to perpetuate their dynasty rule, generation after generation.
Dr Jitendra Singh said “it is important for us to understand and also make others understand that, this is for the first time after independence, that the concept of three-tier grass root democracy comprising of Panchayats, Block Development Councils and District Councils is being introduced in Jammu & Kashmir, even though this arrangement already exists in other parts of India.”
He alleged that these were the two Kashmir based dynastic parties and their old ally Congress who deprived the people of State for decades together of BDC as well as Panchayat elections and did not allow the democracy to percolate to grass root level.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the question to be asked to the champions of so – called “autonomy” is whether they have any moral authority to fool the people of Kashmir in the name of autonomy when they boycotted the Panchayat and BDC elections which are meant to confer autonomy to the representatives elected at the village level.
Similarly, he said, the champions of “self-rule” must reply, which “self-rule” are they talking about when their own Government resisted all efforts to hold Panchayat elections and when the election did happen in Governor’s rule, they boycotted them. The response to both Panchayat and BDC elections has been enthusiastic in the Kashmir valley also and the highest number of candidates for BDC elections are not from any district in Jammu region but from Kupwara and Baramulla districts, he added.
The Union Minister said this way the people of Kashmir have endorsed the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister, Amit Shah fully and they want to be the part of developmental agenda of Narendra Modi which is based on the Mantra ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas.’
He asserted that onwards October 31 when Jammu and Kashmir will attain UT status there will be no discrimination with any region of the erstwhile State as all the roots of discrimination were removed by Narendra Modi Government.
Dr Jitendra Singh while refuting that militancy has raised its ugly head again in the State asked the people not to ear such rumors as under Narendra Modi Government militancy is being crushed with iron hands and within a year it will be eliminated from entire J&K. He said all those terrorists involved in the killings in Kishtwar were eliminated by security forces as they have been given free hand by present Government at Delhi.
The Union Minister, while taking a dig at Congress said it did not boycott elections on its own but was forced to do so by its activists as the Party did not get candidates to contest the BDC elections in the State. Its activists in plain terms told the party leadership that they will not contest the elections on party ticket but as independents because they can’t afford to oppose Narendra Modi Government for abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and face people’s wrath.
He said if Congress was so committed to the strengthening of Panchayati Raj institutions in the State, it should explain why it failed in implementation of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments in J&K which was passed by Indian Parliament during the Rajiv Gandhi’s Government.
For the first time, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed, the Central grant has already started reaching directly to the local bodies, as a result of which, many of the Panchayats have already received Rs. 20 to 30 lakhs in the first phase itself, which is more than the total amount received by them in the last several decades. Will the Congress party answer, why they were hesitant in introducing this provision in Jammu & Kashmir, even though it was brought in by their own Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and whether by doing so, were they not hand in glove with the Kashmir-centric dynasties seeking to appease certain section of voters, at the cost of the poor man living in rural areas.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, “Article 370 is gone and now it is up to us to liberate our minds from Article 370 because still sometimes it appears that we are not able to get over the subdued psyche to which we were subjected for years together. A new era of equitable growth and self- confidence has begun and it is for us to prepare ourselves to avail the best of it.”
Hitting out at Congress, National Conference (NC) and PDP which had predicted an earthquake if Article 370 was revoked, Dr Jitendra Singh said, they too have accepted that the people across the sections have welcomed this revocation and that is why now they do not have the courage to utter the word on “Article 370”.
While highlighting the various steps taken for the development of the State in general and Kathua- Doda Parliamentary Constituency in particular, he said that a proposal has been mooted that National Corridor from Delhi to holy city of Katra via Amritsar will be six lanned from Kathua to Jammu.
The meeting among others was addressed by former Minister, Rajiv Jasrotia, district president, Prem Nath Dogra, ex MLA Charanjit Singh, BJP leaders, Goptal Mahajan, Raghunandan Singh, Janak Bharti while former MLA Hiranagar, Kuldeep Kumar and BJP leader, Naresh Sharma were also present. On the occasion large number of Panches and Sarpanches joined BJP under the leadership of Dr Jitendra Singh.