After a meeting with Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Omar was asked whether the Prime Minister was able to win the heart of people after his recent visit to the state. “It has already been a month for the new government. Let’s wait and see. How can I say whether he has succeeded in winning the heart of the people in a month’s time? It’s too early to say,” he replied to a question from reporters.
During his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Modi had said he had gone there to win the heart of the people of the state. Omar said with a smile that “the ministers whom I have met so far talk good things about the state. They have said they cannot ignore the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We need to see how they will work on this issue (winning the heart of the people).”
Omar refused to say what he had discussed with Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday about the future of his party National Conference’s alliance with Congress. Terming price rise as a “national issue”, Omar said the state stands firm behind the Centre’s decision to crack down on hoarders and “we will do whatever possible to solve it”.
“Obviously, the central government is concerned about hoarding as reason for price rise. We do not believe that the products that are seeing price rise can be linked totally to hoarding because they are largely perishable commodities and one cannot hoard them for more than a few days.
“So, there are reasons other than hoarding for price rise. If the Centre needs to look at hoarding as a problem, we have assured the central government that we will take all the steps to minimise the impact of hoarding”, he said. He said price rise was not confined to one state. “Of course, it is an issue in the state as well. That’s why we want the Centre to take necessary steps.”
On the state’s preparedness for deficient monsoon, Omar said “we are largely a subsistent agriculture state. We do not have surplus agriculture production. Therefore, if the monsoon is going to be as bad as it is projected to be, then unfortunately we will be even more dependent on the Centre for allocation of foodgrains.”
He said the state will be able to assess the impact of rains on agricultural production only after monsoon reaches the state.