Mehbooba Mufti Meets PM, Says Demonetisation "Historic Move"
SRINAGAR: With protests dying out and a semblance of normalcy prevailing in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital.
According to reports, the chief minister congratulated Modi for the "historic" demonetisation decision, a move purportedly initiated by the central government to clamp down on 'black money', impacting normal life across the country.
“It is not an ordinary decision. It will cause some inconvenience to people but it will turn out to be a historic move for the country,” Mehbooba said even as public and private sector banks grapple to keep up with the growing demand of new Rs 2000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
The demonetisation move had least impact in Kashmir Valley where all businesses remained shut and thousands of people, especially in tourism and transport sector, lost their jobs over the last four months of turmoil.
Sources privy to the meeting told The Citizen that the prevailing situation in Kashmir also came up for discussion during which Mehbooba told the Prime Minister that normalcy was gaining ground in the Valley.
Over the last more than four months, at least 95 civilians, many of them teenaged boys, were killed in retaliatory action against protesters who hit the streets following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited the Valley twice at the peak of the prevailing turmoil, had said that New Delhi will talk to "all stakeholders", including the Hurriyat, but the situation must be allowed to calm down.
The Peoples Democratic Party, headed by Mehbooba Mufti, which is in an alliance with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, has been riled by the Opposition as well as the civil society to initiate dialogue with the Hurriyat.
Mehbooba, who had earlier met the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said "the situation in the Valley is getting better".
The chief minister had urged Jaitley to restructure the loans given out by banks which have come under strain due to four months of shutdown and curfew that paralysed business activities in Kashmir.