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Union Ministers' J&K visit: BJP upbeat, others sceptic


Jammu And Kashmir,National,Politics


Author : Zaffar Iqbal

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Srinagar, Jan 17 (IANS) The political circles in Jammu and Kashmir have dismissed the upcoming week-long visit of the 36 Central Ministers to the Union Territory from Saturday as a meaningless exercise.

The BJP, however, believes that the visit could be a path breaking move to assess the ground situation for kick-starting the development works in the Union Territory after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.

The high powered group of ministers will come in small groups and visit 52 locations in Jammu and Kashmir.

"There is no fixed agenda for the meetings that they will have," Arun Gupta, the BJP state spokesperson told IANS. "It is basically an exercise to assess the ground situation for allocation of funds."

He said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will be focussing on increasing the railway network in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to IANS, Jammu-based Panthers Party president Harsh Dev Singh said the government has failed to win the confidence of the people.

"This is a publicity stunt," Singh said.

He said people in Jammu and Kashmir were not interested in merely seeing the faces of ministers. "They want restrictions to be lifted and an end to the internet blockade," he said.

"A drama is being enacted at a time when people are worried about losing jobs and the right to own land after the abrogation of Article 370.

"At a time when the J&K today is not in a position even to pay salaries to its employees, the government will be spending from its coffers on the visit of the ministers," Singh said.

The National conference said that nothing will come out of this meeting at a time when so many politicians, including three former chief ministers are under detention.

"It is a futile exercise, it has no meaning," Akbar Lone, the National Conference MP told IANS.

But, the BJP said there were no restrictions for people to meet the ministers in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Probably they are coming with an open mind and would meet anybody who wants to meet them," Arun Gupta said.

As many as 36 members of the Union Council of Ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir later this week in order to spread words about the government's policies, particularly those taken in the last five months after the abrogation of Article 370.

The ministers will visit different districts in both the UTs between January 18 and January 24.

--IANS

zi/dpb



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