Pledged to safeguarding J&K’s special status: Vohra


Srinagar:  Governor, N. N. Vohra while addressing the joint session of legislature at SKICC on Wednesday said that the State Government is committed to safeguarding the special status to Jammu and Kashmir which the Constitution of India has accorded to it, as also spelt out in the Agenda of the Alliance which forms the basis of the PDP-BJP Coalition Government.
In his customary Address to the joint sitting of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council at the start of the Budget session, he also hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “bold” efforts to reach out to Pakistan, like his visit to Lahore, would have “positive” impact on the state. “The state government is committed to safeguarding the special status which has been accorded to Jammu and Kashmir in the Constitution of India and has been also spelt out in the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ which forms the basis of the PDP-BJP coalition government,” Vohra said admist disruptions by opposition National Conference and Congress members. 
His assertion came against the backdrop of allegations by opposition that the special status was being diluted. Vohra said it augurs well that at the national level, the Prime Minister is personally pursuing the sub-continental agenda of peace which will have a positive outcome for normalizing the situation in the state. “The Prime Minister’s bold initiative of reaching out to Pakistan in a bid to establish lasting peace in the region has been welcomed in the state and revived the hope for peace, particularly along the borders where the lives of the people have been shattered. “The impact of the Prime Minister’s visit to Lahore and the subsequent bilateral dialogues at different levels have generated hope for our state, which has for long borne the brunt of unstable relations between the two countries,” he said. The Governor said the state government is committed to pursuing and strengthening the path of peace and dialogue for achieving reconciliation and development. “The people of the state are hopeful that the revived initiatives for the establishment of friendly relations with our western neighbour will have a positive outcome for the restoration of peace and normalcy, particularly for the people residing in the border areas who live in an environment of insecurity and have, over the years, continued to suffer human and economic losses,” the Governor said. 
Praising Mehbooba Mufti as the first woman Chief Minister of the State, Vohra said: “I am very happy to be associated with this Joint Session in which, for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, we have a young lady as the Leader of the House.”
This historical event, Vohra said, is a wonderful example of the emancipation and empowerment of women in our State.
Vohra said that dissent is an inherent and valued element of the democratic discourse between one and all, between those in government and those on the other side, and there should be no occasion to feel discouraged or offended by voices of dissent.
We are hopeful that with the various ongoing initiatives falling in place we shall soon enter an era of normalcy, peace and prosperity, which the people of the State have been yearning for, Vohra added.
Vohra said it is the top priority of the government to ensure speedy implementation of Prime Minister’s Rs 80,000 crore development plan in the next two years is which will enable the state to not only respond to any arising natural calamity but also catalyse all-round economic growth, Governor N N Vohra said on Wednesday.
“This fully funded Plan of Rs 80,000 crore, an aggregate of sectoral initiatives, is to be executed over the next five years. The annual phasing of the Plan will be based on the absorptive capability and the spending capacity of the Government and its implementing agencies,” Vohra said in his joint address to the legislators which marked the beginning of five-week budget session here.

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