Centre’s Jammu and Kashmir playbook goes down to the grassroots
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Centre’s Jammu and Kashmir playbook goes down to the grassroots

By Thehindu calender  23-Jul-2019

Centre’s Jammu and Kashmir playbook goes down to the grassroots

This Parliament session saw the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir by another six months. At the same time, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke of devolution of powers and grassroots democracy in the State for which panchayat and urban local body elections were held last year.
Extending Central rule while promoting grassroots democracy may appear to be contradictory, but the decisions taken under the rule of the Governor and now of the President give some understanding of the method in what the Centre is attempting in the State.
The Centre’s approach seems to be to concentrate on delivery of basic services without the intervention of local worthies and in a rule-based manner; removal of the vast discretionary powers of the political executive (already enshrined in governance reforms in other States); and devolving enough funds to local governments so that, if not creating a completely new political landscape, then at least green shoots of an alternative political discourse will flourish.

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