Communication curbs in J&K to go soon: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured that J&K panch and sarpanch will get police security and an insurance coverage of Rs two lakh each. (PTI Photo)

As communication blockade in the Valley entered Day 30, Home Minister Amit Shah discussed the security scenario there and held a meeting with Panches and Sarpanches of Jammu and Kashmir, assuring them of police security and insurance coverage of Rs two lakh each.

Amid mounting criticism of the blockade and inputs of a gradual normalisation of the situation, the government is considering to make some relaxations.

In the meeting with nearly 100 residents, Panches and Sarpanches (most of them BJP supporters), Shah is learnt to have assured them that while mobile phone services will be restored in two-three weeks, the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored when the situation fully normalises.

The meeting is a first of such direct interaction of the home minister with the residents of Jammu and Kashmir after the special status accorded to it was withdrawn on August 5.

Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir were held last year after a gap of six years. In a televised address to the nation on August 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached out to people in Jammu and Kashmir assuring them that they will have full right to choose their representatives even in future as they had in the past.

Shah and the party's working president J P Nadda separately also met former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan, known for his hard-line approach on Kashmir, on Tuesday as part of the BJP’s month-long 'sampark abhiyan' to reach out to leading members of society over the Centre's move to revoke provisions of Article 370.

Three weeks after Modi government on August 5 took away the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, the saffron party on August 26 announced a month-long public contact and awareness campaign at 370 places and 35 main cities to apprise them of the reasons for the decision, which was one of the three core promises of the BJP.

The BJP’s mass contact plan has come at a time when it faces polls in three party-ruled states of Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand this year-end and AAP-ruled Delhi in February next year.

Riding high on the nationalist fervour built after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir and the NRC being out, the BJP is hopeful of massive electoral gains in all these states.

The party has asked its cadres to carry out the message of its Jammu and Kashmir move, in particular, in the whole country.

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