SC judgment on Assembly polls deadline will be implemented in letter & spirit: LG
‘Paharis will get reservation shortly’
Debate on Art 370 set at rest after Apex Court verdict
Jammu, Dec 15: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said the Supreme Court judgment on conduct of Assembly elections in J&K before September 30, 2024, will be implemented in letter and spirit and announced that Paharis will get reservation very soon. He added that there has been 350 percent increase in arrival of foreign tourists in the Valley and number of domestic tourists this year has crossed two crore benefitting everyone connected with tourism sector in the UT.
Speaking at ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’ today, Sinha said the debate on abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India which granted special status to erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir has ended with the Supreme Court decision.
“The decision taken by the Government of India has been endorsed by the Apex Court. The country as well as Jammu and Kashmir has accepted the verdict. The debate (on abrogation of Article 370) should rest now,’’ he added.
To a question on deadline for Assembly polls, fixed by the Supreme Court, he said on August 5, 2019 (the day special status were scrapped), Home Minister (Amit Shah) had announced in the Parliament that Delimitation Commission will be set up for J&K followed by elections and restoration of Statehood at appropriate level. The Prime Minister too had addressed the nation and made similar statement.
“After delimitation of constituencies and revision of voter lists, the Election Commission has stated that process has started. The Solicitor General in an affidavit in the Apex Court had also assured elections and restoration of Statehood. The Supreme Court order will be implemented in letter and spirit,’’ the Lieutenant Governor said.
He announced that the Paharis are going to get reservation soon.
It may be mentioned here that a bill to grant ST status to Paharis was introduced in Lok Sabha in Monsoon session of the Parliament in July this year and it was pending there.
“The Pakistani refugees, Gorkhas etc settled in Jammu and Kashmir for last 75 years had no property, education, job and voting rights. Women were deprived of rights if they were married outside. They now feel empowered (following abrogation of Article 370). Kashmiri Pandits have been given political reservation. Wherever they (the KPs) live, they can get domicile certificate of Jammu and Kashmir.
“PoJK and West Pakistani were given Rs 5.5 lakh compensation. OBCs, Dalits have been given reservation in jobs and education. New castes have been added as OBCs. Nine seats have been reserved in the Assembly for STs. Paharis are going to get reservation soon. It was after 34 years that Shias took out Muharram procession in Srinagar,’’ Sinha said.
Without making a reference of past, he said now there is such a Government at the Centre that terrorists can’t sit with the Prime Minister. They have to sit on floor even in front of a junior official of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
“The changes brought about following the repeal of Article 370 instilled a sense of pride among the population of nearly 11 million people. They have begun to believe that the Government in Delhi today is willing to respect and protect their rights,” Sinha said.
He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir want a complete integration with India, they want to join India.
To a question on Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), he said a statement can be made by the Ministry of External Affairs. On whether the people of PoJK want to unite with Jammu and Kashmir, he said this question should be put to the people there but added that there are no roads, electricity and other basic facilities in that part of Kashmir.
He said Pakistan propaganda (on Kashmir) will go on but there is nothing to worry. On killing of militants within Pakistan, he added that the country was earlier heaven (for the terrorists) but now another word will have to be substituted.
Asserting that glamorization of burial of the terrorists has been stopped and people no more gather at the site, Sinha, however, said the deceased’s family and relatives are called and burial takes place with their approval.
“People of Kashmir have seen snow and electricity together for the first time,’’ he said.
The Lieutenant Governor said there has been 300 percent increase in foreign tourists. Last year, 1.82 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir and this year, in November, number of the tourists had already crossed two crore.
“People of Kashmir including auto and taxi operators, hoteliers, rehriwallas and all those connected to tourism have been benefitting out of this,’’ he added.
On industrial development, Sinha said Rs 86,000 crore worth investment proposals have been received and many of them are on ground now after introduction of new Industrial Development Scheme. This will generate employment and income, he added.
Besides, he said, Rs 1.5 lakh crore worth infrastructure projects are also going on in Jammu and Kashmir