Not here to satisfy political parties, working within Constitution: Guv

‘Those in power enjoy life like Jahangir’
Rs 2500 cr for Panchayats, Rs 1500 cr for ULBs
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Dec 12: Governor Satya Pal Malik said here today that he was not here to satisfy the political parties and asserted that he was working well within the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and India without any encroachment on the rights of politicians even as he again took a dig at some politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen on the issue of corruption saying lifestyle of some of them, who were in power, was much better than Jehangir (a Mughal Emperor).
Addressing a press conference here along with his all four Advisors-K Vijay Kumar, BB Vyas (who resigned later in the day), Khurshid Ganai and KK Sharma, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary, Umang Narula, Malik announced that the Panchayats would get Rs 2500 crore and Urban Local Bodies Rs 1500 crore worth grants and expressed great satisfaction over peaceful and successful conduct of Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State, which concluded yesterday.
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Malik said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would shortly visit Jammu and Kashmir to lay foundation stone of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and other developmental related projects. He announced that 42,000 new jobs have been created within six months and interviews for most of the posts have been done away with to avoid any kind of irregularities.
Responding to a question on the charges by some political parties that he was encroaching upon their space by taking decisions which should have been left to the political Gover-nment, the Governor said he was not here to satisfy them (the political parties).
“I respect the political parties. I broke protocol and went to residences of two of them (Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti) over tea. I’m not encroaching upon the rights of anyone. I’m working within the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and India. My duty is to work for welfare of the people and do good to them, which I’ve been performing”, he said.
Reiterating that those who were indulging in corruption were defaming Kashmir, the Governor said those in political, administrative and business power have living standard much better than King Jahangir (the fourth Mughal Emperor, who ruled between 1605-1627 and was known for lavish lifestyle).
He also referred to cancellation of two deals as a part of drive against corruption. On what action has been taken against those involved in the deals, he said one of the cases has been referred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and a message has gone allover against corruption. A fool proof mechanism is being developed against corruption, he added.
On whether there was political patronage to corruption in Jammu and Kashmir, the Governor said the politicians and bureaucrats should look.
“Comparatively, the corruption is more in the State. If checked, it would be a major pro-people initiative,” he said.
Voicing satisfaction over successful and peaceful conduct of nine-phase Panchayat and four-phase Urban Local Bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Malik announced that the Panchayats would get Rs 2500 crore and Municipalities Rs 1500 crore worth grants and the Sarpanchs and Panchs will be fully empowered, leading to development at the grass-root level.
“A new leadership will emerge out of the Panchayat elections,” he said and lauded all stakeholders for successful elections especially the voters, who risked their lives and turned out in large numbers to cast their votes.
He reiterated that he has no political agenda and that his mandate was very clear-development, outreach and addressing issues of the people.
Malik said 42000 new jobs have been created within six months and interviews for many posts have been abolished to avoid the complaints of irregularities. He added that about 1000 posts have been filled up in the Health Department within 42 days.
He said 50 new Degree Colleges have been approved and locations for setting up of 25 of them have been identified. The Colleges will be sanctioned with buildings, staff and other requirements etc.
Replying to a question on radicalization of children, the Governor said he was worried on this front but didn’t elaborate as the press conference was generally confined to development.
To another question that after removal of a bunker in Srinagar after 30 years whether Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will also be removed, he said the AFSPA is a major issue in Jammu and Kashmir and North East and a decision on this will be taken by the Government of India.
On how he will rate the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Governor responded saying: “I treat the situation as normal. Nine-phase Panchayat and four-phase Municipal elections were conducted peacefully with the support of security forces and people and not even a sparrow was killed. Large sections of people turned up for voting. For the first time in last 10 years, 25,000 people gathered at one place to witness the football match”.
On the demand for divisional status also pouring in from erstwhile Doda district, Malik said they have received the demand only from Ladakh and rest he has seen in the newspapers only. He assured that whatever will be in the interest of the people of Ladakh will be done.
Replying to a question on delay in start of construction of bunkers in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, the Governor said the process will start shortly.
The Governor regretted that good happenings in Kashmir didn’t find any mention at the national level media and only untoward incidents are shown, which create wrong perception of the State.
“There was no mention of successful conduct of Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State, in the national press. However, if a sparrow would have been killed during the elections, this would have been the headline,” he said.
Meanwhile, Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today said that Sports Task Force will soon be introduced in the State.
“The Governor is very much keen to promote sports culture in the State and to keep check on utilisation and distribution of funds, Sports Task Force is being introduced soon,” Kumar said to a query raised on Sports Policy in the State.
Kumar also said that Rs 4 crores have been sanctioned to each district of the State for development of sports and more blocks will be developed and groomed.
The Governor said that international level stadiums are coming up in Jammu and Kashmir regions at the cost of Rs 45 crore for each complex.
“We will invite IPL officials once the project is completed so that people of the State also enjoy IPL level cricket tournament,” said the Governor.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary BVR Subramanium said that let the budget be passed, it will have separate allocation for sports promotion.