JAMMU, Aug 7: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said today that the Jammu and Kashmir administration will soon initiate “direct dialogue” with the people to end situation of uncertainty and menace of terrorism as he listed corruption-free governance, inclusive development and dialogue as his priorities and described August 5, the day J&K’s special status were withdrawn last year, as very important day in the history after taking over the oath as second LG of the UT in Srinagar in a simple ceremony.
Before oath, Sinha had one-to-one meeting with Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh, who flew-in to Srinagar from New Delhi to attend the oath ceremony, in which it was decided to fast track development of Jammu and Kashmir and give corruption-free governance to the people. They discussed the roadmap ahead for J&K, which had completed one year of Union Territory and scrapping of the special status of erstwhile State of J&K, only two days before
Significantly, there was no presence of National Conference, PDP and Congress leaders in the oath ceremony but Judges of the High Court, prominent leaders of BJP, Apni Party and PDP rebel and Rajya Sabha MP Nazir Ahmad Laway besides all four Advisors and Administrative Secretaries attended the function held at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar. Laway has already announced that he will float a new party.
All three National Conference MPs from Kashmir including Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi abstained from the oath ceremony. Besides Dr Farooq Abdullah, his son and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had also been invited to the swearing in ceremony.
BJP UT chief Ravinder Raina, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Lok Sabha MP from Jammu, Dr Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta, former Deputy Chief Ministers, Ashok Koul, Hina Bhat, Drakshan Andrabi, Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC, Purnima Sharma, Deputy Mayor JMC, all from BJP, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Rafir Mir, all from Apni Party, J&K Bank Chairman RK Chhibber and Advocate General among others were present at the oath ceremony.
J&K High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal administered the oath of office to 61-year-old Sinha, who was yesterday appointed by the President of India as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir in place of Girish Chandra Murmu who has been appointed as the CAG.
Pitching for peace and stability, Sinha said powers of the Constitution will be used for betterment of the people and the development of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We need to establish a dialogue with the common people of Jammu and Kashmir. We don’t have any agenda in that. There is a need to instill confidence among the common people of J&K in democracy. There will be no discrimination against anyone. Constitution will be Gita in that.
“We will work within the framework of the Constitution of India to take Jammu and Kashmir towards inclusive development and peace. We will like to have better understanding of people’s problems and issues and will try to address them. I assure the people that I will try to come up to their expectations and take J&K forward on vision and mission on making this UT a model to emulate,” Sinha said.
He added that the process of direct dialogue with the people will start in a few days.
“There should be peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir. The situation of uncertainty should end, terrorism should end. Achieving all this along with accelerated development will be our aim, our mission,” the new Lieutenant Governor said, adding the developmental agenda will be taken forward without discrimination with any section or region.
Describing Jammu and Kashmir as India’s heaven and crown, he said he has been given a chance to play a role here. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered a lot in the past. The new dawn promises hope, optimism and bright future for them,” he added.
“August 5 is a very important day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. After years of isolation, Jammu and Kashmir joined the national mainstream, ending a long era of isolation, discrimination and lack of development. Because of its geographical, climatic, cultural and ethnic diversity, J&K is like a colourful bouquet and truly called the crown of India. I have been told that many works which could not be completed in years have been executed in the past one year,” Sinha said.
On August 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 was revoked and the State bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“I want to accelerate the development,” Sinha said.
Social distancing norms were observed during oath ceremony with all invitees seated away from each other and everyone wearing masks in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sinha and the Chief Justice briefly took off their masks for the oath-taking.
Sinha succeeds former IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu, who resigned on Wednesday night and was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Thursday.