Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha has said that Kashmir and Jammu are the “two eyes” of the Union Territory of J-K, and going ahead, for overall progress, both have to work together without one being favoured over the other.
“Samaan bhav sey dono ke vikas ke liye humein kaam karna hai aur dono milke hi is UT ko aage badha sakti hai (We have to work towards the development of these two regions equally, and it’s only when both work together that they can take the UT forward),” said Sinha in an interview to The Indian Express. “I think if the administration’s intentions are clear, and the government is not favouring one over the other, then there will be no opposition.”
Sinha, said there were “some people” who have “vested interests” in differentiating Jammu from Kashmir on the lines of “region, religion, caste, colour or area.”
L-G Sinha sought to allay fears expressed by mainstream political leaders that Assembly elections would be put on the back burner, particularly after the ongoing District Development Council (DDC) polls. He said Assembly elections are held in states which have DDCs. “Assembly function is different from that of DDC or Parliament. So, where is the contradiction?” he said.
Responding to a question on fears of a demographic change in the Valley, especially after the repeal of certain land laws and amendments in some others, the Lt Governor said in J-K, 90 per cent of land is agricultural. “Nobody from outside J-K can buy agricultural land. Even within J-K, only agriculturists can buy such land,” he said.
While the amendment to certain laws has enabled outsiders to buy land in the UT, Sinha said there was no treatment for “imagined” fears.
“Give me a single example of any outsider having bought land here. Since August 5, 2019, tell me a single name. I challenge anyone to name one person from outside who has bought land here. This is baseless,” he said.