No Mention Of Statehood, Assembly Polls In PM’s J&K Speech: Congress

No mention of statehood, assembly polls in pm's j&k speech: congress

This was PM’s first public meeting in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019


The Congress on Sunday claimed the people of Jammu and Kashmir were disappointed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech as it did not have any mention of statehood or assembly polls, while the BJP said it reflected the government’s commitment to the union territory’s overall development.

The prime minister was here in Jammu and Kashmir to inaugurate or lay the foundation stones of projects worth Rs 20,000 crore related to connectivity and electricity.

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During his speech, he stressed that the union territory (UT) is presenting a new example of “democracy and determination” as numerous development initiatives were undertaken in the last two to three years.

This was his first visit for a public meeting to the UT after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 and his speech on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day at Palli, around 17 km from Jammu, was relayed to all gram panchayats across the country.

“He did not mention a word about restoration of statehood and possibility of holding early assembly elections. Jammu and Kashmir is going to complete four years under governor’s rule in June after the last elected government collapsed in 2018,” the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) said in a statement.

In August 2019, the Centre had abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“The BJP has developed vested interest in running a proxy government in Jammu and Kashmir…Modi has disappointed the people of Jammu and Kashmir by not uttering a word about restoration of statehood and holding of early assembly elections,” the JKPCC said.

The prime minister was expected to address the aspirations of people of all sections, who are seeking restoration of full statehood and early restoration of a democratically elected government, it said.

But the speech has proved that the BJP does not “bother about the people’s aspirations and hardships under the bureaucratic regime, not accountable to the people”, the JKPCC alleged.

The BJP is running a proxy government through the lieutenant governor’s administration and is delaying assembly elections on one pretext or the other, it said.

However, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh, who was among the BJP leaders who attended the public meeting here, said Prime Minister Modi’s speech demonstrates his commitment to transform Jammu and Kashmir from the “terrorism capital to tourism hub of the world”.

“The prime minister laid foundation stones of projects worth over Rs 20,000 crore and his actions paved the way for an investment proposal of over Rs 35,000 crore from the previous total of Rs 17,000 crore in seven decades,” he said.

“Jammu and Kashmir is on a path of a new dawn and his speech is a testimony for the overall development of both Jammu and Kashmir regions,” Chugh told reporters at the end of the function.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina said the region is on the path of unprecedented development under Modi’s leadership.

“Modi’s speech is a reflection of the BJP’s commitment to overall development and restoration of peace and dignity in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, urging party members to work hard to reach out to the people to solve their problems.

Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said the assurance of the prime minister to the youth is a testimony of the BJP’s resolve to eradicate Paksitan-sponsored terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister, in his speech, addressed the youth and said “friends, believe my words, both in Jammu and the (Kashmir) Valley, the difficulties faced by your parents and grandparents, you will not face these problems. This I will accomplish and I have come to assure you of that.” Referring to the laying of foundation stones of various developmental projects, including two power projects, and strengthening of the Panchayati Raj System in the UT, BJP leader and former deputy chief minister, Kavinder Gupta, said good results will be known to the people in the coming years.

Former legislator Devender Singh Rana said Jammu and Kashmir is on the road of transformation with avenues of progress and prosperity.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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