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Had Rahul apologised, situation would have not reached his disqualification: Athawale

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Articles 370, 35-A revoked for welfare of J&K people


Jammu: Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday claimed Rahul Gandhi would not have been disqualified from Lok Sabha had he apologised for his alleged critical remarks about the Indian democracy.
Gandhi is a senior leader and was the president of the Congress, he should have known he should not speak “against the country” during a visit abroad, Athawale told reporters here.
“Had Rahul Gandhi apologised, the situation would not have reached his disqualification,” he said.
The minister of state for social justice and empowerment also said that Gandhi had “insulted” a large group of people with his remark, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?”
“Someone moved to the court, which awarded him (Gandhi) two years punishment,” he said.
Athawale said the BJP and the NDA had protested over Gandhi’s remarks but “there was no effect on Rahul Gandhi”.
“The decision taken by our Speaker Om Birla is right. It was necessary to punish Rahul Gandhi. The issue of the court is a separate thing,” Athawale said, justifying the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s decision to disqualify Gandhi.
“Rahul Gandhi is the leader of Congress. He has remained president of the party. Congress party has remained in power for 60-70 years. Rahul Gandhi should have known that he should not speak against the country after travelling outside the country. We have a democracy,” the Union minister said.
The democracy in the country is very powerful, he said, adding that the government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee fell by just one vote in 1999.
“The country is governed by the Constitution given to us by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar,” he said.
Reiterating that the central government is committed to develop Jammu and Kashmir at all fronts, the Union Minister said Article 370 and 35 A being the obstacles in the development of J&K were revoked for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Saying that the budget is ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat Ka Budget’, Athawale said, in comparison to the FY 2022-23, there is an increase of 10.18% for the social welfare department in the FY 2023-24. In the next three years, 38,880 teachers and supporting staff will be recruited for 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, he added. Railways has also been allocated Rs. 2.4 lakh crores in the FY 2023-24, the Minister informed.
He said, development, peace and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir is the top priority of the Prime Minister Modi led government which is evident now with the beginning of investment of thousands of crores in different sectors for the welfare of the people.
The Union Minister said, from last many years, the gates of development have opened for J&K which is evident from the fact that all the centrally sponsored schemes and programmes like Pradhan MantriAwasYojana, Jan DhanYojana, MUDRA, PM UjjwalaYojana, Scholarship Schemes for Students, Welfare Schemes for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes are now implemented in J&K.
He said, hundred percent implementation of many central schemes in J&K is the outcome of the steadfast approach of Government of India to provide social stability at all fronts be it housing, livelihood etc.
The Minister Informed that under PM Narendra Modi implementation of the social welfare schemes has picked up pace in Jammu and Kashmir which is evident from the fact that under PM Jan DhanYojana, between 2014-2023 (March), 48 crores and 36 lakh accounts were opened out of which 26 lakh & 32 thousand accounts have been opened under PM UjjwalaYojana between 2016-22 (March), 12 lakh 45,000 gas connections have been allotted to the beneficiaries under PM AwasYojana (Urban) between 2015-23 (March), 20 thousand 7 hundred houses have been constructed under PM AwasYojana (Rural) between 2014-23 (March), 13 thousand 8 hundred houses have been constructed under PM Jan ArogyaYojana, 07 lakh 66 thousand have been benefited and under UjalaYojana, 84 lakh 86 thousand LED bulbs have been issued in the Union Territory.
He said that between 2019-23 (March), 1720 De-addiction centres have been either funded or established under Financial Assistance for the establishment of De-addiction centres.

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