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Day 1 of J-K visit: With focus on ‘political solution’, Rajnath Singh meets 20 delegations

Singh began his visit with a one-on-one meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The two are learnt to have discussed the overall situation, implementation of the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) and execution of the PM’s development package in the state.

Written by Wajahat Shabir, Naveed Iqbal | Srinagar |
Updated: September 10, 2017 2:52:44 am
Rajnath Singh, Mehbooba Mufti, Rajnath Singh J&K visit, Kashmir unrest Rajnath Singh with J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar. (Express Photo)

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday met representatives of more than 20 delegations of various organisations on the first day of his four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Among the delegations that called on Singh were those of trade, travel, business, the youth, and a team of Sikh minorities. Singh stressed the need for resolving the state’s “political situation” in order to help restore peace during his meetings.

Singh began his visit with a one-on-one meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The two are learnt to have discussed the overall situation, implementation of the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) and execution of the PM’s development package in the state.

“The Chief Minister impressed upon the need to reach out to all sections of the society in the state which has been duly recognised in the AoA,” according to a government statement. Singh later met Governor N N Vohra.

Also read | ‘Rajnath Singh visit to overshadow Congress effort’

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The Home Minister reviewed implementation of the PM’s development package (PMDP) to the state. After his meeting, Singh tweeted, “I have asked the authorities to expedite the implementation of the PMDP in a time-bound manner. It will create jobs for the people of J&K.”

The Rs 80,068-crore package, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7, 2015, covers 63 projects of 15 Central ministries. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 63,000 crore for various projects, which amounts to 78 per cent of the total cost of the package. An amount of nearly Rs 22,000 crore has been released. Five of 63 projects have been completed.

A youth delegation urged him to restore the youth’s dignity. “We told the Home Minister that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel — there is a script but the political process of 2002 should be revived,” Waheed ur Rehman Parra, the PDP youth wing president, said. Parra rued that youths are portrayed in the national media as violent, Parra said, “Kashmir should be dropped from the headlines, and peace will follow.”

Chairman of Tour Operators Association of J&K, Rauf Tramboo, said, “We urged the minister to pay attention to the political problem first so that all related issues can be addressed.” The delegation also stressed that negative media narrative on the Valley is a major contributor to the dipping tourist numbers.

A delegation of Sikh community led by Jammu MLC Charanjeet Singh Khalsa demanded a special quota for minorities in the state. “We have asked for the Central relaxation for minorities to be extended to J&K and the Home Minister has agreed to consider this,” he said.

A Congress team is expected to meet Singh on Sunday.

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