In his clarion call to people to beware of divisive and disruptive forces, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday said that these elements come into public ranks in different garbs and attempt to wedge apart society for vested interests. He asked people to foil nefarious designs of such forces by exhibiting firm faith and confidence in unity, amity and brotherhood.
Addressing a big public meeting at Kalakote in Rajouri district today, the Chief Minister said that people of this cult would come from within and outside the State to test the strength and temperament of people and try to divide them through deceitful means.
“Their game is to separate you from each other on region, religion and community grounds and get benefit by creating conflicts and confusion between different sections of the society and regions”, he said and impressed upon the people to uphold the high principles of harmony and mutual trust and defeat divisive forces out rightly. He said strength of Jammu and Kashmir is in its pluralistic ethos. “Let us nurture it positively to achieve the goal of prosperity”, he added.
The Chief Minister who is also Working President of National Conference said that unity, solidarity and harmony between various sections of the society, has been the guiding policy in the political agenda of National Conference. He said equitable development of all regions and sub-regions is the bedrock of National Conference politics adding that the party would continue to move ahead with this goal.
Omar Abdullah said that functioning of grass root workers and top brass political leaders in unison and on same wavelength is essentially important to give strength to the party and its programmes. He said that it is the party alone which contributes in government formation adding that governments do not constitute or strengthen parties but the fact is vice-versa. He asked the party workers to make public, the historic initiatives and path breaking measures taken by his government for the welfare of common people and their empowerment. “You have to apprise the people about these measures and make them get maximum benefits of the initiatives put in place by the government for public good”, he referred to the Public Service Guarantee Act and asked the workers to acquaint people about the powers government has given to them under this Act.
On Panchayat System, Omar Abdullah said that creation of this democratic institution in the State is aimed at transferring the governance from civil secretariat to grass roots level. He said powers from 14 departments have already been conferred upon the panches and sarpanches to improve governance at the lower level. He asked panchayat members to exercise these powers in full and help cultivate good governance at the grass roots.
The Chief Minister said that his government, despite huge financial constraints and without any Central assistance in this regard, has granted stipend and best possible remunerations to panchayat members at par with those of panchayat members of Haryana State which is highest in the country. He asked panches and sarpanches not only to stick to financial matters but exercise the powers they have been given to check the functioning of primary schools, anganwari centres, ration depots and other similar activities in rural areas in different departments having direct impact on the public life.
Showering praises on MLA Kalakote and former Vice Chairman, Kissan Board, Rashpal Singh, the Chief Minister said that his extra-ordinary work as Vice Chairman Kissan Board has made its mark in the growth and development of Kissan Board. “I required him in the party to give further strength to it”, he said adding that this made me to shift him from the Vice Chairmanship to the party. He said for this reason he has also to shift his Political Advisor, Devender Singh Rana to handle party matters. He also mentioned the work done by former Vice Chairman, Pahari Board Mushtaq Ahmad Bukhari and said that he was also shifted to party affairs for making the party stronger.
On local demands, the Chief Minister granted Rs. 2 crores for improvement and upgradation of Kalakote road and another Rs. 2 crores for providing electricity to Gujjar, Bakerwal and other basties located on mountain hills and remote areas in Kalakote Constituency. He said other demands presented by the MLA would be given due consideration.
The meeting was also addressed by Minister for CAPD, Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, MLC and Provincial President National Conference, Jammu, Devender Singh Rana, MLA Rashpal Singh and other local leaders.