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No false promises, says Omar

Shujaat Bukhari



Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday surprised hundreds of people at Beerwah in Budgam district after he refused to make a commitment for according district status to the town, and left the venue, leaving all his party workers pale-faced.

He was addressing a public meeting at Beerwah, where a large number of people, including workers of his National Conference, were present.

Later, in a statement, an official spokesman said the Chief Minister preferred to leave the venue rather than making a false promise.

On his favourite mini-blogger site, Mr. Abdullah tweeted: “My colleagues would be well-advised to learn that I refuse to hold out false promises just to see a public meeting succeed. I would rather short-circuit the meeting and leave than promise a new district where I can't give one in the short-term.”

The spokesman said: “When he [Mr. Abdullah] realised that the organiser of the public meeting, Professor Abdul Majid Matoo, a local NC leader, had gathered the crowd on the promise that the Chief Minister will announce district status for Beerwah, Mr. Abdullah told the crowd in no uncertain terms that though he sympathised with them he cannot make a false commitment and explained to them the procedure to be adopted for creation of new districts. But when two or three among the organisers insisted that he make the commitment even if it is not met later to please the crowd the Chief Minister plainly refused and left the venue instead.”

Underdeveloped areas to get attention

Earlier, addressing the gathering, Mr. Abdullah held out an assurance that the areas hitherto remaining out of development purview would receive focussed attention. Emphasis would be on decentralisation of powers and involvement of grass-roots representatives in the development process.

The Chief Minister said that during the last two and half years, various measures had been initiated to make development programmes balanced, compact and equitable.

“We want to deliver efficiently and as per the aspirations of the people,” he said, adding the uplift of people living in far-flung and backward pockets required attention.

Responsive system

The administration at all levels had been sensitised to be prompt and responsive to public requirements and project the demands of the people in the development plans so that necessary action would be taken, Mr. Abdullah said.

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