NC-Cong Relations Smooth, Govt Working Well: Omar

NC-Cong Relations Smooth, Govt Working Well: Omar

9 November 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said today that recent visit of AICC (I) vice president Rahul Gandhi has further helped to smoothen the relations between National Conference-Congress coalition Government, which was working well and ruled out any differences between the two coalition partners. He announced that Ministry of Defence (MoD) has granted permission to the State Government for expansion of Jammu Airport after a team of top State officers deputed by him to New Delhi cleared all hurdles. He declared that work on expansion of runway of the Airport would start soon. He also announced Neuro Surgery unit for Super Specialty Hospital (SSH) of the Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah alongwith Ministers and senior political leaders after inaugurating Kunjwani road on Saturday. Speaking to reporters on sidelines of a public meeting at Kunjwani and addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone and inauguration of development works in Gandhi Nagar Assembly segment of Housing Minister Raman Bhalla, Omar said the NC-Congress coalition Government is running smooth and the recent visit of Rahul Gandhi would further help in streamlining the bonds between the two political parties. “Our relations are good. They would be further strengthened with the visit of Rahul. If the coalition faced any problem, it was resolved through talks,’’ he said. Replying to a question about any differences between the Congress and NC, Omar said: “we have no differences in our relations. Our relations at the Centre and State are very strong. In any coalition or relation, the issues are resolved through talks. “If you see, I and my colleagues here have worked in the best way. The benefits of that relation is reaching the people of J&K. In future too we will try and serve the people through this relationship.” When asked about Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani hitting out at opposition PDP, he said: “today, Geelani is targeting others. Till recently, he was attacking only NC and I felt it was fixed match between Geelani and these people, and that he was targeting NC and giving benefits to others.” Omar said: “Geelani has his own point of view and ideology. I don’t want to comment on what he thinks and says.” Replying to a question on Gauhati High Court order on the CBI, Omar said the Government should take steps to give CBI a ‘Constitutional shape’. “The Government should think very seriously what steps are needed to be taken to give proper structure and constitutional shape to CBI,” he said. Replying to a question on Gauhati High Court’s ruling, Omar said: “Gauhati High Court’s verdict has immediate effects on CBI”. “It is a serious issue. The CBI is very important investigating agency,” he added. Omar further said “today, very basis or foundation of CBI is questioned- it is being said that CBI is no entity-After so many years, it has suddenly being felt that CBI is not anything”. Seeking to downplay the advisory issued to TV channels by the Union Government, Omar said the media has neither been gagged nor it can ever be. “I have nothing to do with it- or what Narendra Modi says - you can pose this question to Central Government - As far as my information is -I don’t think you people (media) have any ban and neither anybody can impose ban on your,” he said. “Media has neither been gagged nor can be gagged”, Omar said. In an advisory issued on October 21, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had asked TV channels that when the Prime Minister or the President on a national day like August 15 or January 26, make an address, it should be taken with sensitivity. Modi in a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district had alleged that an advisory was issued by the Centre to TV media on why he was shown “at par” with the PM while he was addressing the nation from the Red Fort on August 15. “We, political persons, ever if think (on it), nobody can gag media - those days are gone when there were 10 newspapers and a channel in operation - banning them was media gag,” he said. “Media is now powerful and it is energized now and has courage,” he said, adding today it is not era of regular media alone but also of social media. Such talks are being propagated to incite people, he said. Omar announced that the Ministry of Defence has granted the State Government permission for the expansion of Jammu airport. “We have been granted working permission from Ministry of Defence (for the expansion of Jammu Airport). The work will start soon on the runway of the Airport,” Omar said, terming Jammu Airport as one of five most dangerous airports in the country. “I had sent a team of officers of State Government to New Delhi recently and cleared all the hurdles in Airport expansion project,” the Chief Minister announced at the public meeting at Kunjwani. “Jammu is one of the five dangerous airports in the country. We can’t risk the lives of the thousand of people travelling daily. We want to give a safe and secure Airport to the travellers,” Omar said, adding that he has also discussed the importance of expansion of runways of Jammu Airport with the Union Government to make it capable of receiving bigger aircraft. He said the Centre has recognised this importance and the project has been cleared for expansion and upgradation of runways. “These projects would not only help to rope in more tourists to Jammu city but also give fillip to the economic activity in the State’’. Regarding the Gondola project on Bahu Fort-Mubarak Mandi axis in Jammu city, he said that the State Government has almost got clearance for the project from the Union Ministry of Environment. On the artificial Tawi lake project, he said that people in Jammu would get the lake by March next year. On power development, Omar said that self-reliance in power generation is imperative for economic welfare and holistic development in a State like Jammu and Kashmir. “The State Government has laid edifice to generate 9000 MWs within some 7-8 years so that it becomes self sufficient in power generation. This would not only help to provide 24×7 uncut power supply for domestic purpose but also for trade and industrial purposes,’’ he added. He asserted that in the past the power sector didn’t receive the focused attention. “From the Chief Ministership of late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to the tenure of Ghulam Nabi Azad, the production of power in the State touched only 1200 to 1300 mws annually. However, he said, the present Government during past three months had allotted power projects with a capacity of 1900 mws. The Chief Minister announced the launch of Neuro Surgery unit in Jammu Super Specialty Hospital of the GMC to provide critical neuro surgery treatment to the patients there and relieve them from the burden of travelling outside the State for such treatment. He also announced construction of subways on Satwari-Kunjwani road project for the benefit of pedestrians. Work on the subways would start soon. Omar said disturbances during the period of militancy in the State had brought development in all the spheres to a halt and economy was in a shambles. However, he added, people of the State helped to nip the evil in the bud and restoring normalcy. The launch, construction and commissioning of hundreds of development projects during the tenure of present coalition, largely owe its existence to the peaceful situation and brotherhood prevailing in the State, he said. “Despite attempts on peace and amity, the people of the State in general helped the Government in nipping the evil in the bud and restoring normality,” Omar said. The Chief Minister said that disturbances during the militancy in the State had put all spheres of development at halt and economy in shambles. “Whenever there is a security and law and order challenge, the Government’s attention is shifted from development to providing security to the people and controlling the situations. This gives a jolt to the process of development,” Omar said. The Chief Minister said that the hundreds of schemes in various sectors during the last five years in the State speak “loud and clear” for the performance of his Government. “Some people for political reasons do not want to count the achievements of my Government and attempt to divert the attention of people. They still indulge in raising old and worn out slogans like discrimination,” he lamented. Omar said over a dozen projects, including Jammu flyover, Tawi artificial lake, fourth bridge over river Tawi, Super Specialty Hospital, various grid and receiving stations besides water supply schemes were launched and completed in Jammu city during the tenure of his Government. He added that he didn’t believe in propaganda because the work done on the ground itself speaks for its author. Omar today laid foundation of Rs 50 crores worth Maternity Hospital at Gandhi Nagar and inaugurated Rs 26 crore worth Shastri Nagar 33-11 KV, 10 MVA Receiving Station and opened four lane Satwari-Kunjwani road project, completed at a cost of Rs 19 crore. Housing Minister Raman Bhalla, in whose Assembly segment the new projects were inaugurated and started by the Chief Minister today, also addressed the gathering. He highlighted achievements of the Government and said that holistic and inclusive development of the State is the benchmark of governance led by the Chief Ministers. Medical Education Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din, R&B Minister Abdul Majeed Wani, Minister for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan, MP Madan Lal Sharma, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, Devender Singh Rana, MLC and NC provincial president, Bimla Luthra, MLA and Rani Bloeria, MLC accompanied the Chief Minister.