Azad hits out at State Government
Asks it to complete projects initiated during his tenure
Billawar (Kathua) Apr 18: Union Health Minister and former Chief Minister of the state Ghulam Nabi Azad Wednesday lashed out at the National Conference led coalition government in the state for sluggish pace of developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The previous government headed by me had initiated more than 1500 developmental works in various sectors including Education, Health, Roads and Buildings across the state. These works were taken up in double and triple shift basis to ensure early completion,” Azad told media persons on the sidelines of a public meeting here.
Hitting out at the state government for slow pace of works, the union minister said, “Work on various projects remained incomplete while some have been stopped midway. These projects are not my own but were taken up for the people and the state government must ensure early completion of these,” her said.
Expressing concerns over delay in holding elections for Block Councils, Azad said that the devolution of powers to the grass root level institutions can not be achieved without completing the process.
“The elections to the Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir were held with great pomp and show but the purpose for creating such institutions remained unfulfilled,” Azad said.
He said that after holding the Panchayat elections it was mandatory for the state government to hold elections to elect Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Block Councils. This, he said, was mandatory as various schemes funded by the central government are required to be implemented through these councils.
“Today the Panchayats in JK are like a half-dead man,” he said. “The state government must ensure that the elections to the Block Councils are held at the earliest so as to empower the local bodies in a real manner”.
Replying to a query, the union minister said that the decision with regard to the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has to be taken by the Union Home Ministry.
“It has to be seen as what the state government is proposing. Does it want to revoke the law from some parts of the state or in totality and at the same time it also needs to be seen what is the situation with regard to the districts from where the government wants the law to be revoked”, Azad said adding, the decision would be taken by the Union Home Ministry after considering all aspects.
Responding to a statement by the Interior Minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik – claiming that India faces Taliban threat – the union minister said that the matter needs serious attention. “Pakistan leadership has a habit of making such utterances but our intelligence agencies should independently ascertain such reports”, he said.
Earlier addressing the public rally, organized by All India Backward Classes Union which announced its merger with Congress, Azad expressed need to hold a survey to figure out the population of the people belonging to backward classes in JK. He said that there was also immediate need to enhance the reservation quota for the OBCs.
He described peace as important for the development adding that prevailing stability and peace should be exploited to the maximum in order to give boost to the developmental activities in the state.
He said that law and order problem is comparatively better in JK as compared to many other states and we should take advantage of the ebbing militancy related incidents and resulting peaceful atmosphere here to boost the economy and reduce unemployment. “We want stability and peace in the state and Congress party will cooperate with coalition partner in maintaining it”, he said and added that National Conference and Congress will put in best efforts to bring peace and tranquility in the state.
Among others, MOS Power, Shabir Ahmed Khan, legislators, G.M Saroori, Viqaar Rasool, Subash Gupta, Jahangir Mir, Naresh Gupta, Jugal Kishore were present in the rally.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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