Home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said development and good governance had eluded the "common people of Jammu and Kashmir" and the Centre is looking forward to "kindle new aspirations and hopes" amongst the people of the state through "a renewed focus" on these twin objectives.
"We are committed to taking all possible measures that will bring accountability, transparency and good governance in the system," Rajnath wrote on Twitter after a meeting with Governor NN Vohra at Raj Bhavan, where he took stock of the governance post governor's rule.
Singh arrived in Kashmir on a two-day visit on Wednesday along with national security advisor Ajit Doval and union home secretary Rajiv Gauba.
On the first day of his visit, he reviewed security situation at a meeting with the Governor at Raj Bhavan. Officials from the police and administration were present. The NSA, however, reviewed security at a separate meeting at Hari Niwas, wherein he sought details about the challenges being faced by the state on the militancy front.
After today's meeting Rajnath wrote a series of tweets, one of which read: "The solution to problems lies in empowerment of the people and strengthening the institutions of local self governance."
About the law and order situation, the home minister tweeted: "It is our firm resolve to bring peace, stability and prosperity through an honest, effective and efficient administration for the problems State is facing. The dream of a developed and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir will be realised when there is peace and normalcy in the state."
An official spokesman said chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam presented an update of the implementation status of major projects under the Prime Minister's Development Programme, particularly AIIMS, IITs and IIMs, ring roads in Jammu and Srinagar and other projects being executed by central and state agencies.
"Governor assured home minister that the state administration is taking every step required to ensure against any delay in the implementation of development and welfare programmes, eradication of corruption and redress of public grievances," the official spokesman said in a statement.
A source privy to Thursday's meeting said that advisor to the Governor K Vijay Kumar briefed Singh about law and order situation and the framework put in place by the forces for the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
"The home minister expressed his satisfaction over the security measures put in place," the source said.
On being informed that local youths were joining militant ranks, the home minister directed the police chief and the Governor Vohra to take concrete steps for stopping the trend.
Another source said that Singh, who cancelled his scheduled visit to Amarnath shrine due to bad weather, asked the Governor to take concrete steps to eradicate corruption and to bring about transparency.
"The Governor assured the home minister that all efforts would be taken to ensure people are benefited with the new governance model and the genuine grievances of people are addressed on priority," he said.
The home minister's stress on governance and development comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narender Modi's recent remarks that "development and good governance were Centre's goals in Kashmir."
At today's meeting, besides Governor Vohra and his three advisors, the chief secretary and police chief SP Vaid were also present. Greater Kashmir had reported that Singh's visit was multipurpose and that this time it was more than reviewing security of the state.
"In the meeting, the home minister was apprised through a power point presentation about the progress made on certain important developmental projects," a senior official in the administration told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity.
"He picked holes in the governance model and expressed his dissatisfaction over callous approach of almost all the previous regimes towards important developmental projects despite generous support by the Centre," the official said.
"A source privy to the meeting said that Singh directed the Governor and his team of officers to renew the governance model so that common man on the ground feels benefited. Singh issued directions for taking certain important projects on fast-track basis," the source said.