Masses, Not Detractors, Will Judge Me: Omar

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Rural Livelihood Mission Unrolled In Lar

SRINAGAR: With opponents targeting the state government for “failure on every front,” chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that his performance would be judged only in the “court of the people.”

Abdullah said this a day after Mirwaiz Umar Farooq chided him as “a chief minister beset with governance failure and yet asking separatist leaders to hold talks with New Delhi.”

“My report card is before the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is they who have to give me the certificate for my government’s performance.  I am not afraid of the propaganda and false bogies carried by my detectors, whether they are from the PDP or the separatists,” an official press release quoted Abdullah as having said at a public meeting in Gandarbal today.

 “The highest court to judge the performance of a government is that of the people. Public satisfaction over the work done by the government is the only genuine and valid certificate,” the chief minister said, adding that the assembly elections in 2014 would speak for his performance.

Rolling out the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), under the local name ‘ummeed,’ at Lar, some 15 km from the Gandarbal town, the chief minister said that poverty alleviation through a suitable mechanism had been a focused area during the past four years of his government, and that Mission was yet another initiative in this direction.

The chief minister said that the centrally-sponsored NRLM had initially sanctioned for four blocks, but by his persuasion at the central government level one block in each district would be sanctioned to be covered under the first phase of the programme.

Abdullah said that during his visit to certain villages in Uttar Pradesh, he had witnessed the positive impact of the NRLM for the uplift of the rural poor. He said that the success of the scheme was largely dependent on the concerted efforts of the department and the people.

He said that the masses had an important role in making the scheme viable and purposeful for alleviating poverty and improving the economy of poor households.

The chief minister also highlighted the role of the mission director of the scheme, and said that his approach and sincere work was the key to see the scheme delivering and successful.

“Rural poverty in Jammu and Kashmir is not so severe as in most other states of the country because of the fact that the Baba-e-Qaum, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah made farmers owners of agriculture land free of cost through the historic Land Reform Acts,” the official press release quoted Abdullah as having said.

“Sheikh Sahib’s visionary approach to alleviate poverty paid satisfactory dividends. Through various flagship programmes and state-run schemes, our government is paying focused attention to upgrade the economics of, and uplift, the poor across the state,” he said.

Abdullah said that the state had witnessed a difficult period and the economy of the common man had received a heavy jolt.

 “All of us have to work together to cultivate peace and seek a bright and prosperous future for the state,” he said.

“I am well aware of public difficulties and development needs in different areas. We are moving ahead with commitment and determination to seek public welfare,” he said, adding that his government’s endeavour in this direction would continue.

SAGAR SPEAKS

Speaking on the occasion, the minister for rural development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, explained the salient features of the scheme and said that the ‘ummeed’ initiative would prove highly significant for poverty alleviation in rural areas by enhancing their capacity of generating livelihood avenues.

The Minister said that the NRLM would provide an institutional platform for the rural poor to start gainful activities for poverty reduction and economic betterment.

“The scheme provides for building strong grass-root institutions of the poor, engage them in gainful livelihood interventions and appreciable improvement in their economy on a sustainable basis,” he said.

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