Kashmir’s powerful people live like Jahangir: Governor Satya Pal Malik

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said powerful people in Kashmir “were living a life better than emperor Jahangir due to corruption”, as he listed his development agenda for the State in the face of recent criticism over his constitutional amendments. “An ordinary Kashmiri who ferries pilgrims in the Amarnath yatra does not even have a sweater to wear. But the living standard of the powerful people, who belong to the administration, the political class and the traders community, in Kashmir is better than emperor Jahangir,” said Mr. Malik in Jammu.In an oblique reference to regional parties National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that ruled the State in the past, he said corruption was impacting the development agenda in J&K. “If the money allocated to J&K was spent adequately, the State would have turned into gold. Out administration has taken a tough stand on corruption from day one and an anti-corruption body is investigating several cases,” said Mr. Malik.Highlights development agenda Mr. Malik said the ₹80,000 crores Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) has been “fast-tracked and the bottlenecks have been removed” by his administration.“A discussion has been initiated with the Asian Development Bank for $150 million fresh loan for development projects, including drainage and solid waste management. Besides, J&K will get first-ever gas pipeline,” reads the report card released by the Governor.The report card said the land for two new AIIMS, IIT and IIM was handed over to the authorities concerned. It said J&K Infrastructure Development Corporation (JKIDFC) has been constituted to raise ₹8000 crore for infrastructure development, especially languishing projects of over 20 years. “There are 1296 languishing projects in key sectors with investment of Rs. 2700 crore also approved. Two major projects, the Ujh Multipurpose Project and the Rattle Hydroelectric Project, were also cleared for implementation,” it said.The governor said his administration was able to successfully conduct the local bodies, municipal and panchayat elections “in a free and fair election process completed over a period of three months”. “The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Act was amended to further empower the council,” it added.The Governor’s listing his works is apparently aimed at an image makeover. It comes in the backdrop of criticism levelled by the regional political parties at him over the manner in which he made several constitutional amendments and dissolved the assembly. His move to convert J&K Bank into a Public Sector Undertaking also invited ire of the regional parties.PDP, NC reactThe Governor’s move have invited reaction from both major regional parties, the NC and the PDP.“Mr. Malik has launched a PR blitz. I won’t comment on the appropriateness of this. All I’ll say is that he will be judged by one yardstick only: how quickly he is able to give the people of J&K a popularly elected government. Any delay will be his failure,” said former chief minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah.On corruption allegations by the Governor, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said, “It’s sad governor saheb is grudging a decent house in Kashmir in a country where corruption has been the dominant issue that brought down Rajiv (Gandhi), UPA government and is now threatening (PM) Modi ji. If at all corruption in Kashmir is pickpocketing compared to Rafale deal.”last_img

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