New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on removal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
“I congratulate people of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and the whole nation. When some things are their forever we presume they will never change or go away. Article 370 was something similar,” the PM said.
“The dream of Sardar Patel, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Atalji and of crores of patriots has been fulfilled.
“We as a nation, as a family, have taken a historic decision. A system due to which brothers & sisters of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh were deprived of many rights & which was a big obstacle to their development, that system has been done away with,” Modi said.
“Because of special status, Jammu and Kashmir could not get the development opportunity it should have got,” he said.
“Now, Jammu and Kashmir will also get the fruits of development like rest of India,” the PM said.
“People of J&K were deprived of the benefits of laws and schemes made for other states. Now they will also get benefits of health and education like people of other states,” the PM said.
“The decision to keep Jammu and Kashmir directly under central administration for a brief period was a well thought over decision.
“Since Governor rule was implemented in J&K, state admin has been directly in touch with Centre due to which the effects of good governance can be seen on ground.
“There was never any discussion as to how Article 370 was adversely affecting the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. And it is surprising, no one was able to really tell how did the article benefit the people,” he said.
The PM assured the people Jammu and Kashmir that they will elect their local representatives in the same way as they did before.
“They way free and fair panchayat elections were held, similarly assembly elections will also be held. I also urge the Governor to appoint Block Development Council, which is pending for two-three decades,” the PM said.
“I assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that they will get to vote in a free and fair assembly election very soon,” he said.
“Decades of dynasty rule in Jammu and Kashmir prevented the youth from political leadership. Now my youth of J&K will lead the development work and take the region to new heights.
“You will be shocked, in J&K for decades, lakhs and thousands of people had right to vote in Lok Sabha polls but neither they could vote nor contest in assembly/local polls. These are those who came to India after partition in 1947. Should injustice have continued with them?
“I want to make it clear, your representative will be elected by you, your representative will come from amongst you… I have complete faith, under this new system we all will be able to free Jammu and Kashmir of terrorism and separatism,” the PM said.
“Patriotic people of Jammu and Kashmir have stood up against Pakistan’s conspiracy of terrorism and separatism.
“I want to tell everyone, that any problem of people of J&K and Ladakh is also our problem. We are with them in their happy moments and their sad moments.
“Holy festival of Eid is also about to come. I wish everyone on this occasion. We are making sure that people in Jammu and Kashmir have no problem in celebrating Eid. Those from J&K who live elsewhere and want to go to J&K to celebrate the festival will be helped in it by us,” he said.
“Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh have the potential to be the biggest tourist hub of the world. There was a time when Kashmir was the favorite destination of Bollywood film makers, I am confident that in future even international films will be shot there,” the PM said.