A day after Rahul Gandhi-led opposition delegation was sent back to Delhi from Srinagar Airport, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that a team of top official of Minority Affairs Ministry will visit the Valley for two days from Tuesday. The purpose of the visit is to identify the areas to implement centrally-sponsored development projects after Modi-led government scrapped Article 370 of Indian Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union minister also asserted that those opposing the government’s withdrawal of J&K’s special status, acting as per their “political prejudice”, will also come around to support the move after seeing its impact.
“A team of senior officials, including the Secretary, will be visiting the area (Kashmir Valley) on August 27-28. The team will explore development possibilities—where schools, colleges, skill development centres can be opened,” Naqvi told PTI in an interview.
The team will look at all possibilities of social-economic development projects, he added.
The minister also said “precautions” taken in J&K are targeted at a “handful of separatists” who can mislead the people. “It is the job of a responsible government to not allow any misinformation campaign to be run,” he said.
Naqvi said the team will also visit Jammu and Ladakh at a later date.
The Minority Affairs Minister ruled out reconsideration on abrogation of Article 370 provisions, saying there was no going back.
“It is (Narendra) Modi’s government. Everybody knows that in this government, decision is made after a lot of thinking, but there is no question of a rethink after a decision has been made,” he said.
Asked if people of the Kashmir Valley were supportive of the government move, Naqvi claimed that they were “absolutely supportive”.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be conducted only after the process of delimitation of Assembly seats gets over, which would take around 14 months. Therefore, the polls are likely to be deferred till 2021, sources in the Election Commission of India (ECI) said.
They said the process of delimitation is expected to begin by the end of November and the process would take over 1 year to complete.
"The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is expected to write to the ECI after October 31, 2019 to start the process of delimitation for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir," sources were quoted as saying by IANS.
"The MHA communication can not be sent to the ECI for delimitation before October 31 because constitutionally, the bifurcation of J&K into the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir will come into effect that day. Once the ECI receives mandatory communication from the MHA, the process of delimitation will begin. It would take around a month to finalise the sub-committees and schedules for undertaking the process," they said.
With Agency Inputs