Describing Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, as the man destined to make India a world power, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Saturday said his alliance with BJP reflected the wishes of the people, as 1.2 billion people of the country reposed faith in the leadership of Modi. He said J&K is a mini India, where majority of the people believe in the spirit of Indian Constitution. “Prime Minister’s slogan of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is of monumental significance. He has a clear vision for India and determined to transform it into a superpower,” he stated. The Chief Minister was addressing a mammoth public gathering at Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium here today during Prime Minister’s first rally in Kashmir after PDP-BJP formed the government in the state. Union Minister for Roads and National Highways, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of State in the PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Kumar Singh, MP and PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti, Cabinet Ministers, MPs and Legislators were also present on the occasion. Reflecting on his alliance with BJP, Mufti Sayeed said J&K cannot connect with the rest of the country unless people residing in the three regions gel together. He said people of Jammu gave clear mandate to BJP, just as they voted overwhelmingly in favour of PDP in the valley. Assuring people that there will be no discrimination with any part of the state, the Chief Minister observed that a lot was written about the alliance with BJP, but he took a decision in the larger interests of the people of the state. “The Prime Minister is a guiding force who is inclined to change the history and destiny of Jammu & Kashmir,” he stated. Drawing the attention of the people towards the 2003 visit of former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee to Srinagar when he extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan from the same venue, the Chief Minister urged Narendra Modi to take a lead in engaging Islamabad in a sustained and meaningful dialogue, which will entrench lasting peace in the region. “Vajpayee’s peace initiative ensured a decade-long thaw in Indo-Pak relations. Bade Bhai ko Chote Bhai se Milna hi hoga,” he said, speaking in chaste Urdu. On rising incidents of intolerance in the country, Mufti Sayeed spoke vividly on bringing down walls of hatred. He hailed the example set by the peace-loving people of the state by sticking to its pluralistic values despite extreme provocations. “Our Legislative Assembly set a perfect example by passing a peace resolution that sent message of tolerance and inclusiveness to the rest of the country,” he added. On the issue of exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, the Chief Minister said he favoured return of the community to Kashmir with dignity and respect. “We do not favour any Israeli-type settlement of Kashmiri Pandits but their larger integration into the social milieu of Kashmir,” he said. Referring to the colossal floods of 2014 that caused widespread damage to infrastructure, besides loss of human lives, Mufti Sayeed said he was committed to provide succour to the people who lost everything to floods. “The deluge of September 2014 was the worst in 150 years. We, at our level, tried to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, but still a lot remains to be done to provide relief to the devastated people,” he added. Appreciating the Central government for its support to strengthen the core sectors of development in the state, the Chief Minister thanked the Prime Minister for fixing deadline of 2017 for four-lanning of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. He also gave a brief insight into the various measures taken by the government to provide good governance with tangible results on the ground. Describing unemployment as a huge challenge for the government, the Chief Minister called for making university campuses hotbeds of placements so that the pool of talented human resource find jobs in the ever-expanding market. “We are also fast-tracking filling up of nearly 30,000 vacancies in the government sector,” he added. Favouring democratic decentralization, Mufti Sayeed said he will strengthen the institutions of local self-government by holding elections, which ensures empowerment of people at the grassroots’ level.
2015 Kashmir Despatch