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Over 35 Union ministers to visit Jammu, Srinagar from January 18 in outreach initiative

Amit Shah. File

Amit Shah. File  

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The outreach, a first of its kind in the past five months, is said to be an initiative of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, will involve 51 visits in the Jammu region and eight in Srinagar in Kashmir Valley

As many as 36 Union ministers will be fanned out to Jammu and Srinagar from January 18 as part of an outreach initiative.

The visits come five months after the Special Status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution was revoked and the State was downgraded and bifurcated into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by the Parliament on August 6.

The outreach, a first of its kind in the past five months, is said to be an initiative of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, will involve 51 visits in the Jammu region and eight in Srinagar in Kashmir Valley. The government stopped Opposition leaders from visiting Srinagar last year. At least two Opposition leaders, Sitaram Yechury and Ghulam Nabi Azad had to move Supreme Court to visit the State.

Last week, the Centre arranged the visit of 15 foreign diplomats to Srinagar and Jammu.

The moves comes amid concerns and resentment among several people, particularly in the Jammu region, of losing special status and apprehension of losing land and jobs to outsiders.

The Centre is already working on a proposal to provide protection to domiciles of J&K in government jobs, educational institutions and land rights.

The Union ministers are expected to inform the people of various J&K specific projects under taken by the respective ministries.

Ministers Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad, G. Kishan Reddy, Kiren Rijiju, Hardeep Singh Puri, Jitendra Singh and others will be visiting J&K from January 18-23.

Internet situation

Mobile internet for the general public remains suspended in Kashmir Valley since August 5. On Wednesday, broadband internet was restored in hospitals, banks, etc. with the J&K administration planning to open 400 additional e-terminals or internet kiosks for the residents. 844 kiosks already exist.

In Jammu, broadband internet was made operational last year and 2G mobile connectivity was restored in five districts on Wednesday.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:18:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/over-35-union-ministers-to-visit-jammu-srinagar-in-outreach-initiative/article30573101.ece

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