BENGALURU – Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy on Monday said the central government is focused on the development of Jammu and Kashmir and elections will be held there once the situation returns to normalcy.
The Minister said a survey of about 50,000 temples that are shut in Jammu and Kashmir will be done while plans are also on to open cinema theatres there.
“Assembly elections will also be held as soon as things are normal…We have successfully done sarpanch elections, now we will conduct block development council elections by November or December and then we will conduct district development council election.
“This will give a push to our development plan for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” Reddy said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said the newly elected ‘sarpanchas’ will be trained in implementing new acts, schemes and developmental work.
“In Kashmir valley many schools are shut for several years now. They will be reopened in the days to come. About 50,000 temples are closed, some are 90 per cent destroyed, those temples will be surveyed.
“There are no cinema theatres in the valley. They are shut for many years. Plan is on to open them,” he added.
The Centre had recently scrapped special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.
With effect from October 31, Jammu and Kashmir will be bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as a bill in this regard was passed by Parliament and given Presidential assent.
The union territory of Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh, while the other union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry.
Pointing out that two union territories will come into force from October 31 that coincides with the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, he said Governors will be appointed to both the UTs.
Listing out various initiatives taken up by the government in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “Five youths from each village will be given government employment based on merit.
“Also, recruitment will be made into the army, the navy, the air force, CRPF, BSF among other others. Central government departments have been asked to prepare an action plan for development of J&K.”
Stating that some “intellectuals” are pointing out at communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir and terming it as violation of rights, Reddy questioned as to where these people were when the rights of people, women did not exist in the state under Article 370.
There are certain restriction in some parts of J&K, purely keeping in mind the law and order situation, he said and appealed for cooperation from the people.
Terming ‘Howdy Modi’ event as a “grand success”, Reddy said it will further strengthen Indo-American relations and will further boost economic and security ties between both nations that are great democracies of the world.
Asserting that both US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the fight against terrorism, he said, Trump categorically said that border security is vital to both US and India and his reference to radical Islam, shows both country’s strong commitment to fight terrorism.
“Under Modi’s leadership, we have been able to isolate Pakistan on the issue of terrorism,” he said.
“The support that India got in America after abrogation of Article 370 despite attempts by Pakistan to mislead shows that countries across the world including America has supported India’s decision,” the minister added.