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PM’s Rs 80,000-cr package for J-K a political gimmick: Cong

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Srinagar : The Congress today said the announcement of Rs 80,000 crore package by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “mere eye wash and a political gimmick to appease his coalition partner” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Claiming that the PM’s package lacked clarity, the state unit of the party said only Rs 8,000 crore of the total amount was earmarked for humanitarian relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected.

“The Prime Minister has let down the people of J&K in every respect by announcing ambiguous package. Rs 8,000 crore relief package against Rs 44,000 crore, submitted by the previous state government, is a cruel joke. It amounts to adding salt to injuries of the flood victims,” Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir said here.

Hitting out at the PM for “playing a political gimmick” with the people of the state, Mir said from the day one Congress had been saying that Modi-led government “as expected was not going to address the issues of the flood victims”.

Mir claimed Rs 34,000 crore package for J&K National Highway was already approved by the UPA government and the funds for mega projects cannot be linked with the package, saying that these were already part of the UPA government’s developmental plan.

He accused the PDP-led government of keeping people “under siege” for four days to “pretend” that the PM’s rally was successful, which he said, was “far from reality”.

“It is ironical that thousands of non-locals were hired for participating in the PMs rally,” the Congress leader said.

He also said that the Prime Minister “failed to announce the much talked about peace initiative”.

Senior CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami described the PM’s Kashmir visit as “far behind the expectations raised by the PDP-BJP coalition government”.

“While overall development including mitigating peoples’ hardships and reconstruction after floods is important, it was imperative that the political aspect of the problem should have been the focus of Prime Minister’s visit.

“It was disheartening that the PM did not even touch political dimension of Kashmir issue. It was also expected that the PM will at least refer to the opening of the stalled dialogue between India and Pakistan, as the growing hostilities between the two countries and tension on borders is directly affecting lives of the people in the state,” Tarigami said here.

The leader said at present there was a country-wide deep concern over the “rising intolerance and lack of accommodation”, and the same has “negatively affected” the psyche of Kashmiri people.

“The Prime Minister was expected to break his silence on this crucial situation facing the whole country. He should have addressed this public concern but he chose to ignore it conveniently. All this indicates that the hype given to his visit proved quite disappointing,” he said.

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