Rajya Sabha MP and Former Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said that Congress and National Conference have almost made their mind not to forge any pre-poll alliance for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
Talking to KNS on the sidelines of a function in Banihal where he addressed a public gathering, Azad said that he is not one among those politicians who will curse the coalition partner after it comes to an end. “Our coalition with PDP worked nicely and similarly the present coalition with National Conference is doing well,” Azad said.
He said that the Congress will weigh its option to forge a post poll alliance only after results of upcoming assembly elections will come out. “The political situation in the state is such that nothing can be said before the results are out. We will weigh our options only after the assembly election results are out,” the former union health minister said.
While thanking people for voting in his favour in the recently Lok Sabha elections, he said that elections should be based upon the policies and party manifestos. He said the people have to keep away from such forces which divide the society on the basis of caste, creed, sex, religion, region and locality. He requested people to vote on development not on the basis of emotions. He said that development should be the main focus for voting any candidate in future not on the basis of regionalism or religion.
The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir also hailed the government decision of enhancing retirement age of the government employees saying that it was already on the coalition government’s agenda and he hopes that now efforts are put in to create a mega employment package for the unemployed youth of the state.
Earlier while addressing the gathering, Azad enumerated various developmental activities carried out in the State by the UPA government during the last decade, He said that during the UPA tenure, the centre extended financial support for infrastructure development in the state, adding that the construction of big projects of infrastructure development, road connectivity and a challenging rail link from Jammu to Srinagar was the endeavour of the UPA Government. He said the central government during UPA tenure, sanctioned Rs. 22,000 crore for construction of Jammu- Baramullah rail link to connect Valley with rest parts of Country.
Azad said that Rs. 10850 Crores were also sanctioned for construction of prestigious Four Lanning National Highway project on which the work is in progress, adding that Ladakh region would also be linked with the Kashmir Valley through construction of Zojilla Tunnel at Z- Morh for which an amount of Rs. 12,000 Crores have also been earmarked.
Elaborating the steps taken for improving health sector in the State, Mr. Azad said, recently, he announced five medical colleges and seven cancer institute’s for the state which would go a long way in providing the best healthcare service to the needy of the state. He said that various employment generation schemes like MGNREGA were also launched for providing guaranteed employment for the people living in rural areas.
“During UPA’s regime, the development was the basic policy which resulted in such a development which could not be achieved till now since independence, he said and maintained that a huge network of hospitals has been created in every nook and corner of the state during his tenure”.
Referring to increasing retirement age of Government employees and eligibility age of unemployed youth by the coalition government under the stewardship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Mr. Azad termed the step a historic one. He said that the government has fulfilled the long pending demand of the employees of the state, saying that it would be beneficial for both the employees and unemployed youth. “The government shall fill more than one lakh vacancies in various government departments within two years which shall not only solve the unemployment problem but also improve their socio-economic profile.
Regarding the food security Bill, he said that the Bill was passed during UPA regime which shall provide food security for all the citizens of the country at very nominal prices, adding that this was historic step which was ever taken by any Government in since independence.