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Governor meets HM Rajnath Singh in Delhi

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Srinagar, : The newly appointed Governor Satya Pal Malik met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday and discussed various issues related to security management, implementation of development programmes and the upcoming Urban and Panchayat elections.
This was his first visit to New Delhi since he took the charge of the Jammu and Kashmir.
The governor on Monday had also called on the President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narender Modi.
Sources told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that Governor who was in New Delhi met Rajnath Singh in the afternoon. “During the meeting special focus was set on the security arrangements and other logistic support to be put in place for the urban local bodies and panchayat elections,” sources said.
Sources said that during the meeting the Union home minister Rajnath Singh said that the Centre is looking forward to kindle new aspirations and hopes among the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The elections, scheduled to be held in January, were deferred after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government led by Mehbooba Mufti told the Centre that the situation was not conducive for the polls.
The previous panchayat polls in the state were held in 2011; urban local body elections have not been held for eight years.
Sources told KNS that the Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Governor that Centre is serious in holding these elections and wants Jammu and Kashmir government to hold Urban as well as Panchayat elections as soon as possible.
The state came under governor NN Vohra’s rule after the BJP pulled out the government, prompting Mehbooba Mufti to resign.
In February, Mufti had called a meeting of all political parties, following which it was conveyed to the Centre that there could be serious law and order problems in the Valley, especially in south Kashmir, if elections were held. Since then, there has been no official word about these elections.
In the previous panchayat polls in 2011, more than 4,145 Sarpanches and 29,000 panches were elected and the voter turnout was around 80%. People who participated in the elections described it as a vote to seek an end to their day-to-day problems.
“We have been asked to be ready for panchayat and local body elections in the J&K,’’ a top government official told KNS and added that the state government is ready for these polls.
Sources further told KN that during the meeting security situation of Jammu and Kashmir came up for threadbare discussions. “Both the leaders discussed the required steps to be taken to maintain law and order in the state,” sources added.
“Security arrangements for Urban and panchayat elections, operations to deal with infiltration and militant activities, the current scenario in terms of recruitment of local educated youths into militant ranks figured prominently in the discussion, sources said, adding that Home Minister expressed satisfaction with alertness and bravery displayed by the security personnel in foiling the attacks by the militants.
Sources said the situation prevailing along the borders also came up for discussion.

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