AKHNOOR– Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday said that he has always batted for good Indo-Pak relations and resolution of issues between the two neighbours through peaceful dialogue process and would continue to work in this direction.
“My efforts in this direction would continue”, he said adding that he would urge the central leadership to take up the issue of violation of cease-fire with Pakistan to ensure peace and tranquillity on LoC and at borders. He said people living in border areas have to bear the brunt of violation of cease-fire and their life, property, agriculture and economic activities get severely hampered by such incidents.
Omar Abdullah was addressing public meetings at Hanjana, Nowshera in Rajouri district and Mera Mandarian, Akhnoor in Jammu district after inaugurating two major bridges in these areas. The bridge at Hajana has been completed at a cost of over Rs. 14.13 crores while Mera Mandarian bridge has involved construction cost of Rs. 24.25 crore. These bridges have been constructed by JKPCC.
The Chief Minister said that the central leadership and the union governments in India and Pakistan are only authorities who can sit down and sort-out issues between them amicably. “Those (PDP) who blow their own trumpet in this regard making false claims only exhibit their style of befooling commoners”, he said adding that people in Jammu and Kashmir are politically mature enough to understand that international issues are dealt by the central governments and central leaderships and not by the local party presidents or State Chief Ministers.
The Chief Minister said that the people are best judges to judge politicians on their performance. “We do not require creating any hype as the work done by the coalition government on peace and development fronts is before the public speaking louder and clear for our performance”, he said adding that this will itself blunt the propaganda of propagandist elements against the coalition government.
“Our performance and intention to achieve peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir and our remarkable achievements on these fronts have amply imprinted impact all across the State”, he said and maintained that the sweeping of MLC seats in the recently held election to the Legislative Council seats reserved for Panchayats lucidly depict public faith in the coalition. He said despite malicious propaganda of all sorts unleashed by the detectors of the coalition, the panchayat members refused to get carried away by hollow slogans. “You voted on the basis of our performance and expressed your trust and faith in the coalition government”, he told panches and sarpanches present in the public meetings expressing gratitude to them for this gesture. He said that his government is committed for 3-tier fully empowered Panchayat Raj System in the State. “We are eagerly waiting for Mr. Soz led coordination committee report to go for block panchayat council elections which would follow elections to the district councils”, he said.
Driving the memory of people down the line, Omar Abdullah said that the relations between NC and Congress are since the time of Sheikh Sahib and Jawaharlal. “These grew further during Sheikh Sahib and Indira Ji’s period and Rajiv Gandhi and Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s time, and are further being cemented this time”, he said elaborating that the differences between the two parties never came in the personal relations of the two families. He said that the ideology and policy for good governance and equitable development of all the sections of the society and the regions and sub-regions of the State enshrined by National Conference and Congress in their political agenda are so common and close to each other that Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru maintained that formulation of Congress Party in Jammu and Kashmir was not needed when Sheikh Sahib was at the helm of affairs in the State after independence.
Omar Abdullah said that Congress-led UPA-1 and UPA-2 governments at the Centre have initiated various programmes aimed at strengthening people and “we in Jammu and Kashmir have also the agenda of public empowerment”, he said and referred to holding of panchayat elections in the State after a period of over 30 years. He also mentioned the enactment and implementation of Public Service Guarantee Act and other measures put in place by the coalition government to bring transparency, reduce corruption at lower levels and upgrade governance. He also mentioned the initiative of Direct Cash Benefit (DCB) scheme introduced by UPA-2 to ensure the benefits of subsidy percolate to the poor without any leakage. He said, he would also like this initiative in the State for the benefit of poorer sections of the society. “I am in favour of DCB for the supply of kerosene, gas and other essentials for poorer people”, he added.