Modi to visit J&K to launch several projects

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a visit to Jammu and Kashmir on February 3, amid questions over whether the Assembly elections in the centrally-ruled state will be held with the Lok Sabha polls due by May this year.

During the one-day visit, his fifth since becoming the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi will travel to all the three regions of the state – Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu, sources told ANI.

He will lay foundation stones for a host of projects during the trip. The significant projects include laying of foundation stones for the AIIMS – one each in Srinagar and Jammu, the sources said. In Ladakh, the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the work to expand Kushak Bakula Rinpoche Airport in Leh.

He will also inaugurate the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh transmission line. He will also address public meetings. The Prime Minister’s visit will take place at a time when there are questions as to when the Assembly elections will be held in the state which doesn’t have an elected government since June last year.

The Governor’s rule was imposed in the state on June 19 last year after the PDP-BJP coalition government led by Mehbooba Mufti collapsed.

Governor Satya Pal Malik placed the Assembly under suspended animation on June 19 and subsequently dissolved it on November 22, when efforts were being made by different political formations to cobble up a majority in the 87-member House.

Recently, in Parliament, Opposition parties had slammed the imposition of central rule in the state and questioned when Assembly elections would be held. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in his reply, said the central government was ready to hold Assembly elections in the state whenever the Election Commission wants.

He had said the Centre will make available the required strength of security forces and other resources whenever the polls are held. (ANI)