‘UT on path of development, will continue to march ahead’
Parties habitual of family rule, land grabbing have lost ground
JAMMU, Feb 4: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Sports & Youth Services Anurag Singh Thakur today said abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A have led to return of peace with national flags fluttering on every house in Jammu and Kashmir.
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“Jammu and Kashmir is moving on the path of development under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government and will continue to march ahead,” Thakur, who was here to launch third Khelo India Games mascot, theme song and jersey along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, told a press conference at the BJP Trikuta Nagar headquarters.
Accompanied by BJP UT chief Ravinder Raina, Anurag Thakur, who returned to Himachal Pradesh, his home State this evening by road after attending last function of the day at Jammu University, said the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A has led to the return of peace, investment and a large inflow of tourists to Jammu and Kashmir with national flags fluttering on every house.
The Union Minister recalled that he was jailed in 2011 on reaching Jammu and Kashmir while leading a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ from Kolkata to Kashmir.
It may be mentioned that the yatra then being led by Thakur as Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president was stopped by then National Conference-Congress Government headed by Omar Abdullah and was not allowed to cross Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir. Senior BJP leaders accompanying the yatra including Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaran and Ananth Kumar were also detained.
“Jammu and Kashmir has changed and is witnessing massive development now,” he said.
Replying to a question on PDP president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s criticism of BJP policies on Jammu and Kashmir, Anurag Thakur said, “Some people have lost ground as they were habitual of family rule and grabbing land. They are out of power and they are frustrated.”
He said the Government has nothing to hide on the Adani issue and accused Opposition parties of creating a ruckus in Parliament to evade a debate on the “people-friendly” budget.
He alleged that they had insulted President Droupadi Murmu by stalling a discussion on the motion of thanks to the President’s address and demanded that they apologise to her.
“We want discussion on the President’s address and 2023-24 budget which will guide India from ‘Amrit Kaal to Swarnim Kaal’ and will lay the foundation of New India but the Opposition is running away from discussion,” Thakur said.
Parliament was adjourned for the second consecutive day on Friday without transacting any business after the Opposition stepped up its demand for an independent investigation into the allegations of fraud against billionaire Gautam Adani’s companies that triggered an unprecedented stock crash. The Parliament will resume on Monday.
Proceedings in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were disrupted as Opposition members raised slogans demanding a discussion and a JPC probe into the fraud-allegation-triggered rout.
Responding to a question on the demand of the Opposition, the Information and Broadcasting Minister said, “The banks, LIC and RBI have already made their statements clear, while the Government has nothing to hide.”
“The role of the Opposition is very unfortunate. Their response to the speech of the President is condemnable as they repeatedly humiliated her. They should immediately apologise to her,” he said.
Thakur said the Opposition was rendered speechless by the “people-friendly” budget and instead of having a discussion on it, they are creating a ruckus.
“They will have to give answers for their behaviour in the people’s court,” he said
Briefing the media about the highlights of the budget, he said the Modi Government had promised not to allow corruption in the country in 2013-14. “There is not a single allegation of corruption against this Government which has been in power for over eight years now.”
“Congress has made this country hollow by rampant corruption. We have been running the Government with honesty and will take the country to economic prosperity.
“We provided free COVID vaccines to the public and food to the poor,” he said, adding the Government is utilising every penny collected as taxes for the welfare of the masses.
He said Congress will “definitely feel the pain because they have never imagined such Government which is only thinking about the citizens and taking forward the country”.
Earlier, launching mascot, theme song and jersey of third Khelo India Winter Games along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Thakur said 1500 athletes from across the country will take part in the Games, scheduled to start in the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in North Kashmir from February 10.
Thakur said the athletes from all over the country participating in Khelo India Winter Games will not only encourage J&K youth towards sports but will also promote tourism in the Union Territory.
“The players and officials enchanted by the beauty of Kashmir and the changes that have been brought about in J&K from the last many years will become brand ambassadors promoting J&K tourism, peace and tranquillity,” he said.
He said the launch of Khelo India Winter Games sends a message across the country that J&K is waiting for the people to watch this event, which is expected to provide an unforgettable experience.
Sinha said sports infrastructure has reached every nook and corner of J&K which is encouraging youth towards sports.
“Every Panchayat of J&K has sports facilities and the target of engaging 50 lakh youth in sports activities has been surpassed. Through new sports policy, attractive career options will be provided to the sportspersons,” he said.
The Winter Games, which will have nine sports disciplines in action, are scheduled to be held from February 10 to 14.
The first edition of the Khelo India Winter Games took place in 2020.
Jammu and Kashmir had topped both editions of the Winter Games so far.