Omar Abdullah: Techie turned CM

Omar Abdullah: Techie turned CM
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Chief minister Omar Abdullah

Highlights

Jammu and Kashmir had seen very little development mostly because of lack of resources on one hand and militancy from across the border.

Jammu and Kashmir had seen very little development mostly because of lack of resources on one hand and militancy from across the border. Most of the time and resources of the respective state governments and the centre was spent on fighting insurgency from across the border.

Another impediment in development of the state was article 370 according to which only defence, external affairs and communications would be handed over to the government of India, while control over all other sectors was to be retained by ruler, under the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution Act 1939. These conditions were peculiar to Kashmir's accession to India.

After the outbreak of militancy in 1990, all those who believed in the constitution and defended J&K's accession with the union of India became the target of militants. For 29 years, hundreds of political workers were killed for being members of mainstream parties which swore by the constitution and Article 370.

Some claim that J&K has come a long way in the last 70 years under its special constitutional arrangement. In 1945, our per capita income was just 11 and the literacy rate less than 7 percent. Despite a 30-year-long turmoil, geographical disadvantage and no industry, the per capita income has reached over 90,000. The 2011 census shows a literacy rate is 67%. The social indicators, health, human development index, poverty rate, life expectancy, infant morality, etc have been far better than in many states. But all that could not take the state forward and incidents of militant activities and lack of certain rights to outsiders as they exist in other states had its own negative impact.

However, the state according to former chief minister Omar Abdullah, son of Farooq Abdullah had witnessed fall in militancy-related incidents, violation of human rights was lowest ever and the resumption of the internal dialogue between the Union government and the separatists marked his regime's endeavour to restore peace and carry forward development in the state.

Omar claimed that they had brought the state police on the forefront to deal with the law and order situation, putting security forces in the second line," he said, adding that the number of security forces were reduced during his regime.

Omar said the launch of the historic Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth was his government's sincere step towards addressing the unemployment problem in the state.

He further claimed that his government had adopted a multi-pronged strategy for educated skilled and unskilled youth in employment so that they can earn their livelihood in a dignified manner. Among other achievements of Omar government are to make administration prompt and responsive by setting up a Chief Minister's grievance cell to receive calls which are recorded, attended to the satisfaction of the complainant. He said he himself used to monitor the functioning of the grievance cell.

The Chief Minister said his government had earmarked five basic sectors of road communication, water supply, power, health and education as focused areas and huge amounts had been allocated for the development of these sectors to bring about a healthy change in the availability of basic amenities, especially in rural areas.

"The state has been successful in getting the highest ever plan allocation of Rs 6,700 crore, including Rs 1,200 crore, under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan this year," he said. The meetings of the District Development Boards in all districts had been held and allocations distributed adequately, he added.

Omar also highlighted the Centre's nod to two central varsities and Justice Sagir's recommendations on Centre-state relations endorsing the NC's viewpoint regarding autonomy. Being a tech savy person, Omar has always been active on his twitter handle whether in power or not.

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