After Article 370 repeal, J&K witnessing fast track development: Union Minister Puri

Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs & Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri
Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs & Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh PuriTwitter/ @HardeepSPuri

Udhampur: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Saturday said that Jammu and Kashmir was witnessing fast track development following the abrogation of Article 370.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a programme in Udhampur, the union minister said, “After the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, J&K is witnessing development in all sectors.”

He also hit out at Delhi Minister and AAP leader Atishi on her remark in London that India has the “largest number of malnourished” people, saying, “they are making irresponsible statements”.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming State Visit to the US, Puri said, “Relations with the US have witnessed a lot of improvement. Many issues will come up for discussion (during the visit). Issues related to terrorism generally come up for discussion and if there is international cooperation against terrorism, it will definitely benefit many of our states.”

Prime Minister Modi is visiting the US from June 21-24 on the invitation of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. They will host Modi at a State Dinner on June 22. The visit also includes an address to the Joint Session of the Congress on June 22.

On the objections raised by the Congress over the renaming of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi as the Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society, the Union minister said he was surprised that the centre was named after “just one prime minister”.

How many prime ministers did the country have? “I am surprised over the naming of the centre after just one prime minister”, he said. “We had Pandit ji (Jawarhar Lal Nehru), who had a lot of contributions, followed by Gulzarilal Nanda, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira ji, PV Narasimha Rao ji and Manmohan Singh ji,” the minister of housing and urban affairs, and petroleum and natural gas said.

“What one can say about the opposition? One youth leader went to London and said there are 38 crore Indians who are hungry. The prime minister is providing free dry ration to 80 crore people since the outbreak of the (coronavirus) pandemic. They are making irresponsible statements,” he said.

Atishi had said in London on Thursday that India has the “largest number of malnourished” people, despite being the second largest producer of food in the world.

The minister said, “Development works are happening across the country. When Modi took over in 2014, it was said that the northeastern region is the most neglected but he made sure that every minister visits the region once in a month to ensure its development.”

He also said after the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A in August 2019, Jammu and Kashmir is also witnessing massive development in all sectors.

Puri said this was his sixth visit to Jammu and Kashmir in the past couple of years and “we are witness to massive footfall of tourists, setting up of IIIM, AIIMS, hospitals and other educational institutions”.

“I feel some works are pending due to some obstacles but they are being taken care of to further speed up the development,” he said. Puri said the Devika river project, costing Rs 190 crore, would be completed within the next three months. “This is North India’s first river rejuvenation project which will offer a unique destination both for pilgrims and tourists,” he said.

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