Bhaderwar (Jammu & Kashmir), Nov 20: The BJP on Thursday said that if voted to power in Jammu and Kashmir in the upcoming election, it will implement the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act which seeks a constitutional status for the Panchayati Raj institutions.[For Congress and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Bhaderwar will be a Kurukshetra]
"73rd Amendment Act was not implemented in J&K"
Saying this in a public rally here on Thursday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the said amendment was implemented in other states but not Jammu and Kashmir because of Article 370.
Structurally, the Panchayati Raj institutions in J&K have remained a subject of debate for despite various recent amendments, the Panchayati Raj Act of 1989 has allegedly remained flawed and does not make the local bodies units of self-governance.
"J&K local bodies remained deprived of funds"
Singh said the panchayats received funds for development directly under the 73rd Amendment but those in Kashmir remained deprived.
He also said unlike the critics of the BJP who accuse the party of communalising the upcoming assembly election, the latter believes to take everybody along.
"Will resolve refugee issues"
The Union Home Minister also said that the issue of refugees from West Pakistan and the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is a serious one and needed to be resolved. "If voted to power, we will resolve their long pending issues as they also deserve equal rights and privileges," he said. The minister also blasted Pakistan and criticised the previous UPA government, saying it had taken a soft stand on the hostile neighbour.
"Will discuss local issues"
Singh promised to raise local demands that his party's election candidates have put up after the elections and wished to visit the town again. He said parties like the National Conference, People's Democratic Party and Congress have ruled the state for a long time and now it is time to give the BJP a chance.