Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of J&K, said that Kashmir and Jammu are the “two eyes” of the Union Territory of J&K, and both have to work together without one being favoured over the other for overall progress. He said that if the intention of administration is clear, and the government is not favouring one over the other, then there will not be any opposition.
Sinha spoke on many issues ranging from the annulment of the Roshni Act and its unravelling to the apprehensions regarding the demographic change in the Valley after the repeal of land laws, restoration of 4G internet services, the timeline for Assembly elections and the ‘Gupkar Gang’ jibe by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Manoj Sinha took oath as L-G of the UT on August 7. He has visited all 10 districts in Kashmir, and six of 10 in Jammu, over the last four months. He said that there were some people who have vested interests in differentiating Jammu from Kashmir on the lines of region, religion, caste, colour or area.
L-G Sinha also denied apprehensions expressed by mainstream political leaders that after the ongoing District Development Council (DDC) polls, Assembly elections would be put on the back burner. He said that Assembly elections are held in other states which have DDCs. Assembly function is not as same as that of DDC or Parliament so, there is no contradiction.
L-G said that there are no reasons to fear. He pointed out that the Prime Minister has talked about Assembly elections from the Red Fort on August 15; the Home Minister has also mentioned it on the floor of Parliament. The Prime Minister has said on August 15, that when the Delimitation Commission is completed then Assembly elections will be held.
The Lt Governor said 90 per cent of land is agricultural in J&K. He was responding to a question on fears of a demographic change in the Valley, especially after the repeal of certain land laws and amendments. He said that nobody from outside J&K can buy agricultural land in the region. Even within the UT, only agriculturists can buy agricultural land. He said that there is no treatment for “imagined” fears.