40 Union ministers likely to visit J&K in March

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The ministers will explain how abrogation of Article 370 is beneficial to the people and talk about various central government schemes

A fresh batch of 40 Union ministers are expected to leave for Jammu and Kashmir next month. As many as 36 Union ministers had visited the erstwhile state in January.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said the ministers’ visit is part of a confidence-building exercise and to listen to grievances of the people. The ministers will also explain how abrogation of Article 370 is beneficial to the people and talk about various central government schemes.

“The last time ministers visited, they could not go to many areas in Kashmir because of heavy snow. By next month, the snow will begin melting and then those areas will be accessible. This time more ministers would go to the Valley,” an official said.

In January, as many as 36 Union ministers visited J&K and met a cross-section of people. However, only five of these visited Kashmir while the rest went to Jammu. Those who visited the Valley included MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, MoS (AYUSH) Shripad Naik, MoS (Rural Development) Niranjan Jyoti and HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.

The ministers used the opportunity to disseminate information about the importance of government policies regarding development of the Union Territory of J&K and its people along with steps taken by the Union government in this direction, particularly since August 5, 2019, when the abrogation of Article 370 was announced. Of the 59-odd places that were visited by the ministers, as many as 51 were in Jammu.