NEW DELHI - As per an idea that came to Union home minister Amit Shah, no less than 36 Union ministers will visit Jammu & Kashmir, including sensitive areas, in a week-long blitz starting January 18.
The purpose of the visits is to tell the people of Jammu & Kashmir that the effects of the August 5 curtailment of special status have been positive. People in both parts of the Union territory will be told of the development measures taken by the government for the good of the people.
While sources said both parts of the state, Hindu-majority Jammu and Muslim-majority Kashmir, will be visited by the ministers, they added that there will be 51 visits to Jammu and only 8 to Srinagar, PTI reported.
The Union Home Ministry is coordinating the visits. Amit Shah’s junior minister G Kishen Reddy has written to Jammu & Kashmir chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam informing about him about the impending visits.
In his letter to Subrahmanyam, Kishen Reddy said his boss Shah has desired that all members of the Union Council of Ministers visit Jammu & Kashmir to disseminate information about the Centre's policies for the development of the Union Territory and the steps taken by the government since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state on August 5.
The schedule for the visits will be discussed and finalised at a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers on January 17.
PTI reported the details of some of the ministerial visits:
* Smriti Irani will visit Katra and Panthal areas in Reasi district of Jammu on January 19.
* Piyush Goyal will go to Srinagar, also on January 19.
* Kishen Redy himself will visit Ganderbal on January 22 and Manigam on January 23
* Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will visit Sopore in Baramulla district on January 24.
* V K Singh is scheduled to visit Tikri in Udhampur on January 20
* Kiren Rijiju will go to Suchetgarh in Jammu on January 21
* R K Singh will visit Khellani in Doda district
* Shripad Nayak will hold a meeting at SKICC in Srinagar
Some of the other Union ministers who will travel are Anurag Thakur, Giriraj Singh, Pralhad Joshi, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Jitendra Singh
This will be the second round of visits by Union ministers to Jammu & Kashmir after the abrogation of special status on August 5.
Why Send 36 ‘Propagandists’ If Everything Normal: Cong
The Congress on Thursday slammed the government over its decision to send 36 Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir and said if everything was "normal" there, what was the need to send "propagandists".
A group of Union ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir later this month to spread awareness about the positive impact of abrogation of Article 370 provisions and the development measures taken by the government for the region.
The schedule for the visit of the ministers to the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be finalised at a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers on Friday.
"Amit Shah says all is normal in Kashmir. If so, why send 36 propagandists to Kashmir? Why not allow non-propagandists to go and understand the situation prevailing there?" tweeted senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
Thirty-six Union ministers will visit different districts in both the divisions of the Union Territory starting from January 18 to January 24 and the Home Ministry is coordinating it.
"36 Ministers running around J&K in 6 days is a sign of Panic not normalcy. Abrogating Article 370 was a blunder & no quick fixes will work Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the king's horses and all the king's men Couldn't put Humpty together again," tweeted Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
This will be the second round of visit by the Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state on August 5.
Earlier this month, in one of the meetings of the council of ministers, a presentation was also been made on the development initiatives taken by the Centre following the imposition of the governor rule in the region.
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