JAMMU: The three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers should remain in detention if it helps in maintaining peace in the Valley, Union minister Jitendra Singh on Friday told a group of officers who briefed him about the situation in the newly created Union Territory.
He said the government has to change the narrative on Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to have good governance and development in the region with a focus on the youth.
Referring to the detention of former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, Singh said, "If the situation is peaceful, because they are detained, then it is better that they remain detained."
He was addressing the officers after inaugurating a two-day regional conference here, which will focus on the implementation of good governance practices in the region.
The regional conference, which is being organised on the theme of "replication of good governance practices in the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh", also witnessed the presence of LG Girish Chandra Murmu.
Singh said the narrative on J& K has to change so that the fruits of good governance and development reach to the people.
"There is a section of people who don't know what they have been deprived of. The deprivation happened to that extent," he said.
"We have a new dispensation and new order reporting directly to the Centre and we owe it to the people of this region to cooperate with them and make it successful," the minister said.
"We owe it to youth because they comprise 70 per cent of the population. They have deprived of enormous opportunities that were unfolded by the Modi government in the last five years. Aspiration of the youth is litmus test for us", he said.
Mainstream leaders, including the three former chief ministers, were taken into preventive custody in the wake of the Centre's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5.
While Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti remain under house arrest, Farooq Abdullah has been detained under the controversial Public Safety Act.
The regional conference in Jammu is being organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
The main objective of the conference is to bring national and state-level organisations on the same platform to share experiences in digital governance, citizen-centric governance and capacity building and personnel administration.