Jammu, July 21:
Union minister Jitendra Singh Sunday remarked that Kashmir is weary of leaders elected with “mere 10 per cent vote” who then make it to the Lok Sabha or state assembly with vested interest of perpetuating political dominance by a few families or individuals.
Taking a dig at Kashmiri leaders, he also said politicians of Kashmir are still “clinging on to the past”, without realising that the common voter comprising 70 per cent of youth has already moved on.
“Kashmir is weary of leaders elected with mere 10 per cent vote, who then make it to Lok Sabha or state assembly, with the vested interest of perpetuating political dominance by a few families and individuals,” he said.
The Minister of State for Personnel said if an election is held in a “free atmosphere” with reasonable voter turnout, people will outright reject the politicians who have, over the last several decades, thrived on low voter turnout.
When asked about his often repeated statement that militancy in Kashmir is in its last phase, he said in an interview to Rajya Sabha TV Sunday that nobody in the Valley wants militancy to continue, except for a handful of politicians.
“They have developed vested interest in contesting and winning elections in an insecure atmosphere, but people have now understood their selfish designs and are keen to get rid of them,” he said.
Refuting allegations of “weakening” the Right To Information Act through the RTI Amendment Bill introduced by him in the Lok Sabha recently, Singh said the Bill is meant to streamline and institutionalise the functioning of the Information Commission.
The RTI Act 2005 was framed by the UPA government in haste, and the Modi government is only trying to fill in the missing links, he argued.
Reiterating the Centre’s emphasis on “performance with integrity”, the Union minister also justified the recent orders for premature retirement of officials whose integrity was under doubt or the performance not found up to the mark.
He also defended the government’s ‘lateral entry’ mode, which relates to appointment of private sector specialists, saying in the emerging scenario, India deserves the best of talent from whatever source available, to handle some of the most “innovative, original and specialised” schemes introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.