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Government’s mega outreach programme; 70 Union Ministers to visit J&K

In a mega outreach drive that commences from Sep 10,  more than 70 Central Ministers are scheduled to visit the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. During their visit, the ministers are likely to meet and interact with the common public, members of civil societies, the state administration and Panchayati Raj.

This is the second mega outreach move by the Modi government to the people of Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. The first was in January 2020 in which more than 36 Ministers from Modi’s Council of Ministers visited the Union Territory.

The long nine-week programme is the second outreach attempt by the Centre to boost the development schemes and highlight the work done by the government in the newly formed UT. As per the sources, eight union ministers will be visiting J&K every week and will have an interaction with common people and representatives of the Panchayati Raj and will try to understand the problems faced by them. The ministers are also directed to submit a comprehensive report of issues related to their respective domains to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) upon their return.

As per the sources in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also the Union Minister of State in PMO is coordinating with the MHA in finalizing all the schedules of the visit.

The final schedule is likely to be released in the upcoming few days. It is also said that a lot of newly inducted ministers will also be touring the Union Territory and Senior Cabinet Ministers are also likely to be a part of this mega outreach drive. However, it is still unclear whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir or not.

It is also learnt that the visit of the Ministers will be area-specific and aimed at gathering information, problems regarding their respective ministries. The Minister in charge of Agriculture will be asked to visit farming-related areas while  Rural and Urban Development Ministers will be visiting semi-urban areas in order to understand the issues faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The government is aiming to cover as much area as possible and are planning to cover almost all tehsils if not blocks.

In the past few months, nearly 13 Parliamentary Standing Committees (PSCs) have also visited Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The Centre aims to spread awareness about the initiatives taken up by them for the development and welfare of the UT and also to find ways to implement new policies that can take Jammu and Kashmir to the path of growth. 

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