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J&K leaders leading youth astray, unnerved by improvement in situation, panchayat polls, says Amit Shah

J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha speaks during the laumnch of the District Good Governance Index for 20 districts, at a function in Jammu, on January 22, 2022. Union Home Minister Amit Shah virtually attended the event.

J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha speaks during the laumnch of the District Good Governance Index for 20 districts, at a function in Jammu, on January 22, 2022. Union Home Minister Amit Shah virtually attended the event.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday accused J&K’s regional parties of leading the people, especially youth, astray with their provocative statements “at a time when the Union Territory (UT) was witnessing percolation of democracy, which is the solution to all problems, at grassroots level”.

In an oblique reference to the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Shah said youth of Kashmir should start asking these leaders questions and “don’t fall prey to their motivated remarks made for political ambitions”.

“There are leaders who claim no land will be left in Kashmir. Ask them where was land taken away from locals? The three families, which ruled J&K, are unnerved by the fact that their grip has loosen on J&K with the implementation of the Panchayati Raj Act, which gave representation to people’s aspirations through over 30,000 elected representatives,” Mr. Shah, who launched the first ever District Good Governance Index (DGGI) in J&K.

He said there were leaders who expressed their extreme views, saying there will be no improvement in law and order in J&K till Article 370 was restored and the situation had deteriorated after August, 5, 2019. “Official figures on the groundshow the real situation. J&K has seen a decrease in terrorists’ activities by 40% and the deaths have also come down by 57%,” the Union minister said.

Mr. Shah said peace in J&K has no relation with the changes made (in 2019) but is directly dependent on good governance. “Good governance ensures peoples’ participation. J&K is among top five States and UTs of the country in implementation of central schemes and in reaching out to the deserving population, from farmers to widows to health schemes, without any middlemen or corruption,” Mr. Shah said.

Reiterating that elections will be held only after the completion of the delimitation process and the statehood will be restored once peace establishes in J&K, Mr. Shah asked the youth to “walk on the path of development set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and work towards achieving a golden period for J&K.”

“Democracy and development will address all the issues of the youth. They should not listen to the leaders who intend to lead them astray. Peace is important for democracy,” Mr. Shah said. He said his government has already set up AIIMS, NIFT, IIT, IIMC and additional medical seats in J&K. “Those who used to be forced to go to Pakistan for MBBS should see that medical seats strength has increased from 500 seats in 2014 to 1100 in 2021 with the establishment of five additional medical colleges,” Mr. Shah said.

He said J&K has already signed a memorandum of understanding for ₹12,000 crores investment and saw the highest ever footfall of tourists this winter. “Around ₹50,000 crore investment will come to J&K. There were leaders who claimed no investment would come to J&K. There are many leaders who do not want tourists, which flips employment, to come here but their statements don’t matter. Around 1.13 lakh tourists visited J&K last year,” he added.

He said the increase in the UT’s budget from ₹21,000 crore to ₹90,000 crore is the highest quantum jump for any state in India. “It shows the commitment and vision of the PM for J&K,” he added.Mr. Shah said the administration of J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was aiming to fill a development and governance deficit of 70 years in just five years. “We will achieve this development deficit for sure,” he added.

He said DGGI, which is based on 58 indicators, will help to better the governance, monitor system and identify the areas where more attention is required. “This exercise will be extended to other states of the country too. It will form a base of strong governance at district,” Mr. Shah said.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 4:39:43 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jk-leaders-leading-youth-astray-unnerved-by-improvement-in-situation-panchayat-polls-says-amit-shah/article38307843.ece