The Centre’s plan to kick off an outreach programme in the Valley took a hit Saturday after Union Ministers Dr Jitendra Singh, Ashwini Choubey and Arjun Ram Meghwal were forced to land in Srinagar instead of Jammu due to bad weather, reported PTI. The ministers are among 36 who are scheduled to hold close to 60 meetings in the Union Territory over the next six days.
It was not immediately clear whether the team would stay in Srinagar or return to the national capital.
As an initiative of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the ministers are on a week-long visit to the Union Territory to speak with people about developmental policies and steps taken by the central government since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year.
Of the 36 ministers scheduled to visit the Union Territory, only five — G Kishan Reddy, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shripad Naik, Niranjan Jyoti and Ramesh Pokhriyal — are expected to address the people in the Kashmir Valley. The remaining ministers will visit districts in Jammu.
The visit will also see ministers heading out to different districts in both Jammu and Kashmir. While Reddy would travel to Ganderbal on January 22 and Manigam the next day, Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad is slated to be in Baramulla on January 24. Pokhriyal, Naik and Niranjan will reach out to people in Srinagar.
The Union ministers have been sent “background material” about the developmental activities “through email” and the ministers have been asked to inform the state Chief Secretary about their programme so that “necessary arrangements” at the field level to facilitate their visit.
According to sources, of the 59-odd places being visited by the ministers, as many as 51 are in Jammu. The remaining eight places are in Kashmir.
Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani is slated to visit Katra and Panthal areas of the Reasi district on January 19. Gen VK Singh (retd) is scheduled to visit Tikri in Udhampur on January 20 while Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju will visit Suchetgarh in Jammu the next day.
Power and renewable energy minister RK Singh will visit Khellani in Doda district. Anurag Thakur, Giriraj Singh, Prahlad Joshi, Renuka Singh, Jitendra Singh, V Murlidharan and Piyush Goyal are among the other ministers who have been deputed different districts in Jammu.
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