Azad Rejects Poll Boycott Call, Says Violence Down In 2013

Azad Rejects Poll Boycott Call, Says Violence Down In 2013

15 November 2013
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad today regretted delay in completion of development works in erstwhile Doda district due to “inadequate flow of funds” from the State Government and called upon the three Congress Ministers accompanying him to take up the matter, expedite release of funds and completion of works. Mr Azad announced launch of two lane Bhaderwah-Chamba road next year saying it would considerably reduce distance between another important tourist destination of Shimla and would facilitate tourism in erstwhile Doda belt as well as Himachal Pradesh. Addressing a public gathering at Community Hall near New Bus Stand, Bhaderwah in Doda district this evening and public meetings during the day at Naali Bunjwah, Bhalessa and Gandoh, Mr Azad said the development works in erstwhile Doda district were not progressing smoothly due to “inadequate release of funds” for their completion. He hoped that the State Government would release the funds for development works adequately to ensure that they were completed well in time. He said 18 hours journey to tourist destination of Shimla would be reduced to just six hours with the launch of Bhaderwah-Chamba road. He said Bhaderwah and other areas of erstwhile Doda district would become important tourist destinations with development of the areas and creation of tourist infrastructure. Mr Azad would tomorrow undertake an aerial survey of work on Bhaderwah-Chamba road. He called upon the people of erstwhile Doda district to maintain communal amity saying he was deeply saddened by August 9 communal clashes at Kishtwar. R&B Minister Abdul Mujeed Wani, Tourism Minister GA Mir, Minister for Health Shabir Khan, MLA Bhaderwah Mohammad Sharif Niaz and MLC Naresh Gupta among others were present in the function. He said that focused attention needs to be placed on the development of rural and hilly areas of the State so that the benefits of different State and Centrally Sponsored Schemes must percolate down to the poor people. He also said peace is imperative for development and the situation had improved in Jammu and Kashmir since some years. “We have observed that in 2013 the State witnessed lowest violence-related incidents in the past more than two decades. But still we have to put an end to such incidents,” the Union Minister, who had served as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir from November 2005 to July 2008, said. Mr Azad asked the people to maintain communal harmony adding that there was no place for communal mindset in country like India where the people of different communities live with pride. Sharing his own experiences, he said: “first time I became Member Parliament from a constituency in Maharashtra where only 5 percent people are Muslims while remaining 95 belonged to other religions”. He advised the people to rise to the occasion and work jointly for the development of the society. Rejecting poll boycott call of separatists, Mr Azad asked the people to join the electoral process at all levels so that the upcoming generation was provided a better atmosphere. “Election is the only way through which people express their feelings and aspirations. All our schemes will not be benefited until a democratic set up is established in every sphere, including political and economic,” Mr Azad said. The Union Health Minister was hopeful that when the power projects of erstwhile Doda district will be completed in the area, it will change the fortunes of people of the State. “I hope these power projects will bring happiness among people of Jammu and Kashmir and strengthen our State in terms of development,” he added. Mr Azad also told the gathering that the UPA Government has initiated lot of development projects in the State especially on health front. He announced 10 bedded hospital, doctor quarters and building for PHC Nali at a cost of Rs 4 crores. He also announced same health infrastructure for PHC Patnazi to improve health scenario in Bunjwah. The Union Minister said that far flung districts of the State, which included Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda were being given special attention in respect of development and welfare by the Central Government. He said that schemes like RMSA and SSA were under implementation to extend quality education facilities to the far flung areas, while RGGVY will provide electricity to every nook and corner of the State. He urged the State Government to immediately submit DPR for RGGVY second phase so that it was sanctioned by the Government of India at an earliest. Mr Azad said that NRHM doctors in rural areas would get incentives of Rs 55,000 per month. “Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 710 crore for Jammu and Kashmir to meet the requirements for land compensation under Pradan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) but still compensation of roads have not been paid expeditiously,” he said expressing anguish. He said that by the end of 2014, entire Bunjwah area will be electrified. He directed R&B Minister Abdul Mujeed Wani to immediately construct Dak Bungalow at Naali Bunjwah and complete the road from Thathri to Jalapur, which is being constructed under CRF at an earliest, so that people will avail maximum benefit from these schemes. He directed Minister for PHE Sham Lal Sharma, who was not present there, to immediately submit a DPR of Canal Kankore Patnazi to Binoon Nali as there is shortage of water in the area. Due to this canal, the people would get better water facility, he asserted. People of the Bunjwah stressed for Degree College for Bunjwah and police recruitment for unemployed youth of the area. Mr Azad assured them that he will meet with Union HRD Minister and next year College will be sanctioned for Bunjwah. On police recruitment, he said he will write to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for police recruitment as for the last 5 years no police recruitment has taken place in Bunjwah, Khara, Saroor, Sarthal, Chatroo and other far flung areas. Congress MLA from Inderwal, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori, while addressing the public meetings, said that Mr Azad is the Congress leader who gave an entirely new direction to the development and clean politics in Jammu and Kashmir. “You can see that Congress will play a crucial role in the formation of next Government in J&K. Whether anyone from the two (National Conference and People’s Democratic Party) shall remain in power or not (after 2014 Assembly elections), Congress will remain in power in coalition with any of the two. Congress party is sure to form next Government in J&K and Mr Azad would be the Chief Minister,” Mr Saroori said. Expressing his heartfelt gratitude to the Union Minister for evincing personal interest in the development of Inderwal, Mr Saroori said that Mr Azad left no stone unturned in giving fillip to several sectors related to common masses by providing liberal funding from the Central Government. He hoped that the State in general and Inderwal in particular would receive affectionate patronage from Mr Azad in future also. Earlier, Mr Azad laid foundation stone of 100 bedded hospitals at Gandoh Bhaleesa at an estimated cost of Rs 53 crores.