Maintaining that there was a need to establish dialogue with the common people, the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, on Friday said that his priority would be development and peace.
"Kashmir is the heaven of India. I have been given an opportunity to play a role here. August 5 is an important day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. After years of isolation, Jammu and Kashmir came to the mainstream. Several projects were started here after years. My priority is to take those projects forward," Sinha told reporters after being sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor of J&K at Raj Bhavan here.
Sinha succeeds G C Marmu who has now been appointed as the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG).
"There would not be any bias against anyone. Constitutional powers will be used for people's welfare. I assure the people that their genuine grievances will be listened to and we will try to find a solution. It is my aim to take forward development here," he added.
Sinha said the process of direct dialogue with the people will start in a few days. "We need to establish a dialogue with the common people of Jammu and Kashmir to end the situation of uncertainty and the menace of militancy," he said.
"My mission in J&K will be to ensure peace, end militancy and to work for development by all means," he said adding that he talked to some officers of administration. "They are working hard for the development of J&K, the officers will stay in touch with the people."
"The people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered a lot in the past. The new dawn promises hope, optimism and a bright future for them," he said.
The Lt. Governor further said that he would like to see Jammu & Kashmir free from militancy and isolation. "We will work within the framework of the Constitution of India to take J&K towards inclusive development and peace. We will also initiate dialogue with the masses to have a better understanding of their problems and issues, and will try to address the same," he said in reply to a question.
I assure the people of J&K that I will try to come up to their expectations and take J&K forward on the vision and mission of making this UT a model to emulate," he added.
Earlier, Sinha was administered the oath of office by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Gita Mittal at a simple function. Some politicians and senior officials of administration and police were present during the ceremony.
Advisors to the previous lieutenant governor, including Farooq Khan and Baseer Khan, MoS in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh also attended the ceremony.
Leaders from BJP and Apni Party were present. No representative from National Conference, Congress, People's Democratic Party and other regional parties attended the ceremony.
A report said that NC's Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah were invited, however they stayed away. NC has said the process of democracy should begin by releasing their detained leaders as well as former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
Some leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party J&K Unit who attended the ceremony included Ravinder Raina, MP Jugal Kishore, Ashok Kaul, Kavinder Gupta, Dr Nirmal Singh, Sofi Yousuf, Hina Bhat, Daraksha Andrabi and Manzoor Bhat.
Two senior leaders of Apni Party – Ghulam Hassan Mir and Muhammad Ashraf Mir were also present. MP Nazir Ahmad Laway, who has been expelled from PDP, also attended the ceremony.
The new LG – Manoj Sinha – has been a member of the BJP national council from 1989 to 1996. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for a third term when the BJP swept the elections in 2014.