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Decision of all parties to contest DDCs elections is historic achievement of Sinha’s administration
11/22/2020 12:09:31 AM
ET Special Correspondent

Jammu, Nov 21: Decision of all political parties, including pro-separatist Awami Ittehad Party led by jailed Engineer Rashid, to participate in the District Development Councils (DDCs) elections is a historic achievement of the J&K administration led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who was appointed as LG at very crucial time to initiate political process in this part of the country.
The Union Government led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had chosen August 5, 2020 to appoint Sinha as LG because on the same day historic was created in 2019 when Article 370 and 35-A were revoked.
Biggest challenge before Manoj Sinha was to ensure participation of all political parties in strengthening grass-root level democracy because earlier two main-stream parties National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party had boycotted Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) elections as well as two-tier of the Panchayat elections.
A confidant of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Home Minister, Amit Shah, LG has already proved his capability during his tenure as Minister of State for Telecommunication (Independent Charge) during the first tenure of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Both the Prime Minister and Home Minister were looking for a seasoned politician like Manoj Sinha to handle the situation in J&K after abrogation of Article 370. On August 5 this year, he was given all important assignment as LG of J&K.
From the day one after his appointment as LG, Manoj Sinha is in action because Corona cases were at its peak in J&K and the health sector appeared to be completely collapsed.
• Within a few hours of taking oath in Srinagar in August 2020, he started with a surprise inspection to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in the summer capital to take stock of facilities.
• While officials and even media persons would usually think twice before visiting such Covid19 hotspot, for Sinha “lives of the people took preference over his personal life.”
• While the public entry into many government offices was banned in the wake of the lockdown that time, Sinha’a visit to the Covid hospital had a message that there would be no compromise on public outreach.
• A day after a deadly gunfight rocked north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Sinha visited the district to review development activities on August 19.
• Surprisingly, he travelled to the area by road unlike the previous regimes when the Chief Minister of the then state would usually travel by helicopter.
• As for Sinha, he has kept the government helicopter available for the poor and other needy of the remote areas.
• In fact on October 17, Sinha approved the use of his office's helicopter for emergency evacuation of patients living in the remote areas of the Union Territory.
• The services of the Raj Bhavan's helicopter are exclusively available for the benefit of those patients who come from the underprivileged sections of the society.
• Observers say it was for the first time in the history since 1947 that such a people friendly decision was taken.
• About the public outreach, from walking miles on foot to meet people in remote areas like Rajouri frontiers to visiting the forward posts, Sinha has been on the move.
• On September 12, he visited the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar. As per the eye witnesses, Sinha took off his shoes outside the main entrance of the shrine, where otherwise wearing shoes is permissible. His gesture was widely hailed.
• Apart from other religious places, Sinha has been paying obeisance at the Vaishnu Devi shrine in the Trikuta Hills in particular and is working on a plan to further develop the area.
• During official visits, such a high profile dignitary is traditionally escorted by a battery of senior officials. But when Sinha visited Reasi district, DGP Dilbag Singh was asked to review security in Kashmir.
• In another major move, Sinha upgraded the grievance redressal system.
• On September 12, in a step towards making grievance redressal robust and efficient, the Lieutenant Governor launched the Jammu and Kashmir Integrated Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (JK-IGRAMS).
• Officials said the revamped system decentralises handling and redressal of public grievances by making district collectors and deputy commissioners the primary level of receiving, disposing and monitoring grievances.
• The existing portal has been integrated downwards to the district level by mapping nearly 1,500 public offices in 20 districts of the Union Territories.
• While corruption in the administration has been a frequent complaint of the common people, the corrupt are having sleepless nights since the day Sinha assumed charge.
• Sinha has been candidly telling the media that his government would have zero tolerance against corruption.
• While the Prime Minister is popular for his iconic slogans like “Na Khuawunga Na Khane Dunga” and “Acche Din”, Sinha, who enjoys proximity with Modi, is on the mission to realize all this and much more in Jammu and Kashmir, through his honesty, integrity and dynamism which is winning the hearts!
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