Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government marked its eight years in office on Monday. PM Modi has been leading the country since 2014, and in his second term, he was able to ensure that his party won the faith of the people by an even bigger margin.
Encapsulating PM Modi’s achievements in Jammu and Kashmir, during the last eight years is a humongous task.
However, a sneak peek into the PM’s vision for J&K UT in a cricketing lexicon can simply be put across as ‘Modi’s spectacular six’. Here are the six key achievements of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the UT envisaged and implemented in the last 8 years.
1. 2016 TO 2019 – CLAMPDOWN ON SEPARATISTS
The Modi government made significant curbs on violence orchestrated by the separatist groups. They openly propagated anti-India views, protests and stone pelting but enjoyed unconstitutional encouragement and funding by the previous governments at the Centre and in J&K.
According to an estimate, separatists kept Kashmir on Hartals (strikes) for more than 2,928 days, which is more than eight years. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries estimated a business loss of Rs 130 crore (USD $ 20 million) during each day of the strike called by separatists.
By 2019, terror financing came under assault by the national investigating agencies and with the complete crackdown on illegal money transfer and laundering, the incidents of stone pelting that depended on hawala money have abated.
2. 2019: SWIFT ACTION ON PULWAMA ATTACK, BALAKOT STRIKE:
On 14 February, 2019, a convoy of security forces was targeted by terrorists at Pulwama in Kashmir killing 40 soldiers. The Modi government backed Pakistan into a corner by retaliating with an air strike hitting a terror camp in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
3. AUGUST 2019: ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370/35A:
The Modi government through a historic decision made Article 370 inoperative. The Modi government brought Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, which split Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir. Both units were made Union territories. This was considered as a landmark step in bringing J&K into the mainstream.
A loud message was delivered to the world by the Modi Government that we are no longer apart- we are a single unit. The historic decisions made on 5th August 2019 not only brought the constitutional changes but also opened the doors to a lot of development opportunities and progress for the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Since 5th August, 2019, there were 890 Central Laws applied with a retraction of around 205 state laws and 130 laws were modified for the betterment of the people and were redeployed. Job representation for the weaker sections – OSC reservation benefits were increased from 2% to 4% followed by the Residents of International Border and LoC getting 4% reservation benefit which is a rise of 3% from earlier numbers.
Backward Classes Reservation benefit also witnessed an income ceiling raised from Rs 4.5 lakhs to Rs 8 lakhs. Reservation in assembly seats was provided for STs as per the constitution.
4. 2020 – DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL POLLS
In October 2020, the Union Government amended the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. It introduced a provision to hold direct elections to the District Development Councils. These councils replaced the District Development Boards which functioned mostly as official bodies of the Government. The DDCs were constituted on the basis of a direct election with each district having 14 elected members. Out of the 278 seats for which results were declared by the J&K Election Commission, besides the PAGD and BJP, Independent candidates won 50, Congress 26, Apni Party 12, PDF and the National Panthers Party two each and the BSP one. 51.42 per cent of the 5.7 million eligible voters exercised their franchise in the elections, which were peaceful.
5. DELIVERY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
During the last so many years, 7000 projects were launched and initiated but never yielded any results. There was a special category launched by the J&K Government under the banner “Languishing Projects” to specifically focus on projects which were commenced earlier but never saw completion.
LG Manoj Sinha led administration ensured that these projects got completed and drove home the objective and benefits with which they were launched. 49.38 lakh plus beneficiaries have been covered under the Aayushman Bharat Health Insurance schemes.
Water to every home initiative – Out of 18.16 lakh rural households of J&K, 7.82 lakhs have already got functional household tap connections and by March 2022, 100% targets will be covered. There are 54 developmental projects approved with a budget of Rs 56261 crores. Projects that were completed include Rambagh Flyover, Qazigund-Banihal Tunnel and Jhelum Flood Mitigation Project.
The increase in assembly seats in 2019 required delimitation of constituencies. It is a process of reorganising the territorial boundaries of existing constituencies for election to various bodies. A delimitation commission under Justice (retired) Ranjana Desai was announced in early 2020. Six additional assembly seats are earmarked for Jammu (revised to 43) and one for Kashmir (revised to 47).
The total number of assembly seats in the UT will increase from 83 to 90. The delimitation commission has recommended Centre to nominate at least two Kashmiri Pandits to the Legislative Assembly. The panel also proposed nine seats for Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Seven seats have also been reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the Jammu region.The commission has also recommended that the government consider giving displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir representation in the Assembly through nomination.
The commission has also merged Rajouri and Poonch (from Jammu Division) with the Anantnag constituency in the Kashmir region. The new constituency has been renamed as Kishtwar-Rajouri.The Commission has said that it renamed 13 constituencies considering public sentiment in the region.