Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said the Centre wants good governance and development in Jammu and Kashmir with focus on the youth.
Addressing officers in Jammu after inaugurating a two-day regional conference, which focuses on the implementation of good governance practices in the region, he said the government has to change the narrative on Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to achieve this.
"There is a section of people who don't know what they have been deprived of. The deprivation happened to that extent," he said. "We owe it to youth because they comprise 70 percent of the population. They have deprived of enormous opportunities that were unfolded by the Modi government in the last five years. Aspiration of the youth is a litmus test for us", he said.
On mainstream leaders remaining in preventive custody in the wake of the Centre's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5, Singh told the officers, "Ab app kah rahay hai ji ki woh teen aadmi aunder thay, is liya theek hai. Is ka matlab hai un ke ander rahnay say theek Hai, touh unkoo ander he rahana chahiya (Now you (officials) say that situation is right because those three persons are inside. If the situation is peaceful, because they are inside, then should they remain inside," Singh said. "You (officials) are indirectly supporting that (move),'' he added.
Singh, however, did not name any detained leader. While Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti remain under house arrest, Farooq Abdullah has been detained under the controversial Public Safety Act. Singh said, "We have a new dispensation and new order reporting directly to the Centre and we owe it to the people of this region to cooperate with them and make it successful."
The regional conference, which is being organised on the theme of "replication of good governance practices in the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh", also witnessed the presence of LG Girish Chandra Murmu. It is being organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). The main objective of the conference is to bring national and state-level organisations on the same platform to share experiences in digital governance, citizen-centric governance and capacity building and personnel administration.
Singh said the work culture needs to be changed to suit the changing demands of today. He said serious thought has been given by the Centre to take all decisions and things will unfold in an unimaginable manner, asking people not to be led by misconceptions.
"This year has been the most peaceful festive season in many years in recent past. Youth aspirations are the litmus test for us, which will be facilitated by the government," Singh said. He said it is a first of its kind conference being organised at the initiative of the central government of since the two UTs of J and K and Ladakh came into existence. "This is a curtain raiser for the upcoming initiatives which will be undertaken in these two UTs under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," the minister said. "The PM's focus has been to bring the peripheral states closer to the other parts of India in terms of development," he added.
He emphasised upon tapping the economic potential of J and K. "We need to expose J and K to the similar opportunities as available to the other parts of the country. With the abrogation of Article 370, many such opportunities are now available here," Singh said.
The allowances available to the government servants across India will now be available in these UTs also and many laws applicable to other parts of the country will now be applicable here also, he said.