JAMMU – Stating that Article 370 was the “biggest obstacle” in the development of Jammu and Kashmir, Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said the future of the Union Territory is bright and its youth can now have a dream to “touch the sky”.
Rijiju was the part of the latest batch of nearly a dozen Union ministers who reached Jammu on Tuesday on the fourth day of the massive outreach campaign launched by the Centre to disseminate information about the implementation of its policies and programmes for the overall development of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are here to act like wings for the youth to fulfil their dream and the central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to take the region to the new heights of development and progress,” the minister of state for youth services and sports said.
Addressing a gathering after dedicating the upgraded indoor stadium to the people here, Rijiju said the momentum of the developmental activities witnessed “three to four times increase” after the nullification of Article 370.
“The future of Jammu and Kashmir is bright and the younger generation is lucky and can have a dream to touch the sky,” he said.
The Centre had on August 5 last year abrogated Article 370 provisions of the Constitution, which guaranteed special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into Union territories.
Rijiju said Article 370 was the “biggest obstacle and was standing like a wall” in the way of development of Jammu and Kashmir.
“After its abrogation, the speed of development increased by three to four times. If the development continues like this, I believe that Jammu and Kashmir will be the most developed region of the country in the near future,” he said.
Rijiju said he is on a two-day tour of the UT and “will look at how my ministry will contribute in the developmental progress”.
He assured more indoors stadiums for the region and said “we will provide the local sportspersons all facilities and support to make them champions”.
The minister said had successive governments carried forward “such type of development as it is happening today”, Jammu and Kashmir would have touched great heights.
“Better late than never…Article 370 is gone and the prime minister’s development plan for the UT will set an example not only for the country, but the entire world to see,” he said.
Rijiju said when he was in the home ministry, the erstwhile state received the “highest funds” under the leadership of PM Modi.
“Jammu and Kashmir had received so much of funds that nothing like that was provided to any other state of the country. After the erstwhile state came under the governor’s rule (in June 2018), the developmental activities gathered pace,” he said.
“Jammu and Kashmir is a very beautiful place with lots of potential. The central government is moving towards with its goal to develop the region. I am in politics for the last 30 years and had not witnessed such type of development within five to six months. The speed of the developmental activities has increased manifold,” the minister said.