Expectations run high ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir with people of the state as well as BJP’s alliance partner PDP hoping that a financial package would be announced to boost growth.
However, people affected due to the last year’s flood are sceptical of financial aides, alleging that after several announcements nothing has reached them.
The state government headed by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has expressed hope that the visit of PM Modi, scheduled on November 7, will give an impetus to the development agenda.
“We hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state will provide the much-needed impetus to the development agenda of the PDP-BJP coalition government,” Sayeed said a public meeting here last week.
Sayeed said while he had offers of unconditional support from the Congress and the National Conference to form the government following a hung verdict in Assembly polls last year, he chose to go with the BJP as he saw an opportunity to change the destiny of the state as well as respect the mandate his now-coalition partner had won in Jammu region.
“Our alliance with BJP was not a knee-jerk reaction … I have met the Prime Minister (Modi) on quite a few occasions. He has a mission to transform India and he is keen to usher in a new era of development in J&K,” he said.
Sayeed’s Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu said people of the state were expecting the Prime Minister to take tangible confidence building measures aimed at addressing the political and economic challenges confronting Jammu and Kashmir.
“The priority of the state government right now is to address the alienation especially among the youth and kick-start a developmental process to not only rebuild the flood-hit public and private infrastructure, but also ensure long-term economic prosperity of the people in all the regions and sub-regions of the state,” he said.
However, many flood victims, particularly from Srinagar city, do not have much expectations with the Prime Minister’s visit as they feel the help, if any, coming now will be too late.
“We are not sure whether there will be anything for us in Modi’s visit to Kashmir as he came here several times after the flood tragedy without announcing anything substantial for the sufferers,” Abdul Majid, whose house in Jawahar Nagar collapsed in the floods, said.