July 2019 News

Amit Shah's Mission Kashmir Banks On Newly Elected Panch, Sarpanch For Development

9 July 2019
India Today
Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first term emphasised on internal security of Jammu and Kashmir but Modi 2.0 government has a top up plan. Besides security, new Home Minister Amit Shas has plans to win hearts and minds of common Kashmiris by empowerment of local government, namely the panch and sarpanches of Jammu and Kashmir. Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that Narendra Modi's second-term government has plans to prioritise acting tough against separatists. Apart from that, the government has an an agenda of zero policy towards terror. The third and most important dimension is 'development'. The sources said that the Modi 2.0 government will achieve this through newly elected panch and sarpanch. Amit Shah's emphasis on empowering the panchayati system was categorical when he met handful of the elected village heads in Srinagar during his maiden visit to Kashmir. While Amit Shah did not meet mainstream parties, he met the 'elected panch' who could carry out governments mission forward. Government sources said that Rs 700 crore was dispersed to the elected village heads soon after panchayat elections in the state held in last October. The Centre now intends to further open its purse by providing additional two installments of Rs 1,500 crore each to be given to panchs and sarpanchs. With a mammoth total budget of Rs 3,700 crore, the Centre's game plan is to provide doorstep governance. A measure to strengthen grass roots democracy despite state being under Governor's rule for over a year now. Sources told India Today TV that under the 'Gaon Chalo Abhiyan', Class 1 officers will have to visit villages and spend a night there. 'In the first phase, Class 1 officers will work with panchs and sarpanchs and evaluate how to utilise the money pumped in by the Centre. Meanwhile, to ensure a robust system is put in place, the Bharatiya Janata Party workers in state have additionally been asked to be eyes and ears of government and share the status of government schemes in villages,' the sources said. Amit Shah who is known for his meticulous planning has been concerned that money should reach the rightful. So far, the money given by the Centre to state government was not reaching lower levels. A crackdown on corruption at lowest level is also on to ensure empowerment.