True representatives of people should not boycott Panchayat polls: Rajnath

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Oct 23 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that those who consider themselves as true representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should not oppose Panchayat polls scheduled to be held in the coming weeks. Asserting that those who do not believe in democracy cannot be concerned about the peace and prosperity in the region, Singh requested all people and political parties to participate in the upcoming Panchayat elections. "I have met with all political parties today and have requested all of them to take part in upcoming Panchayat polls and I believe they will do it. The vibrant democracy of India is its biggest identity. I believe that through democracy, many issues and problems of Jammu and Kashmir can be resolved. Those who do not believe in the democracy can't be said to be concerned about peace and prosperity of people. Hence everyone must have faith in democracy. I want to request to all those who consider themselves as true representatives of people of Jammu and Kashmir should not oppose Panchayat polls," Singh said. Elaborating on his other meetings in the region, Singh praised the state dispensation for successfully conducting free and fair urban local body polls. "I have reviewed the security situation and have also chaired a review meeting of different initiatives undertaken by state and central government. The state dispensation was successful in conducting free, fair and transparent elections for local bodies. There were no incidents of violence during urban local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir," he noted. Singh further said that the Centre and state government would work together to make Jammu and Kashmir a developed state. "Both state and central governments are working towards the development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh areas. Every year for the development of every gram panchayat in Jammu and Kashmir as much as 60-70 lakhs will be spent. The aim behind empowering the panchayat's and local bodies is that the local population becomes self-efficient in resolving their local issues. It is our aim to make Jammu and Kashmir a developed state," he added. Singh also said that the situation in the Valley has witnessed major improvement in the last few months. "As far as the Jammu and Kashmir security situation is concerned, a major shift is seen in last 4 months. There has been a decrease in the number of stone pelting incidents. Also, I have got information that there has been a fall in the number of militant recruitment in the state," he said. Singh also announced that a compensation of Rs 5 lakh will be given to the kin of those killed in an explosion which occurred in Kulgam on October 21. The Panchayat elections in the state would be held in nine phases, from November 17 to December 11 while the Urban Local Bodies polls would be held in four phases- on October 8, 10, 13 and 16. The counting of the municipal polls will take place on October 20. (ANI)
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