Assembly polls in JK soon, plans underway to restore statehood: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received at 'Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K' event, in Srinagar, Thursday, June 20, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received at 'Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K' event, in Srinagar, Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Srinagar | Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that assembly elections would be held soon in Jammu and Kashmir and plans are underway to restore statehood to the union territory in the near future.

In his first visit to the valley after becoming the prime minister for the third consecutive term, Modi emphasised the importance of enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to elect their representatives for the assembly.

In his address at a gathering at SKICC 'Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K', he commended the people for their active participation in the Lok Sabha elections and expressed the need for them to choose their local leaders through upcoming assembly elections.

"The people of Jammu and Kashmir participated in Lok Sabha elections in large numbers and broke the record of the past 35 years. You deserve to be felicitated for it... Now time has come that people of Jammu and Kashmir chose their own local representatives. For that, preparations are being made for holding assembly elections," he said.

Furthermore, Modi assured the people that the day was approaching when Jammu and Kashmir would regain its statehood status.

He noted the role of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in this strengthening of democracy.

"We are witnessing Atal ji's vision of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat aur Kashmiriyat, turning into a reality today", he said.

Mentioning the record voter turnout in the recent elections, the prime minister praised the trust of the people in democracy.

"I have come to express my thanks for your efforts for keeping the flag of democracy high", he said.

The Supreme Court in a judgement earlier this year had given time till September 30 to the Centre for holding assembly elections in the union territory. The prime minister as well as Home Minister Amit Shah have said in Parliament that the government was committed to restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate time.

On the recent terror attacks in Jammu region, he condemned those seeking to disrupt the peace and development in the region, affirming the government's commitment to thwart such attempts.

"The enemies of peace and humanity are not happy with the development in Jammu and Kashmir. There were some terror attacks recently. The Centre has taken the recent terror attacks very seriously. The home minister held a meeting and reviewed the entire mechanism. I want to assure that we will leave no stone unturned to punish the enemies of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

"The enemies of Jammu and Kashmir are making last ditch efforts to stop the development here and that peace is not established. But the new generation of Jammu and Kashmir will live in permanent peace.

"We will strengthen the path chosen by the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

Highlighting the government's efforts to promote peace and progress in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi underscored the elimination of Article 370 and the implementation of the Constitution in the region.

He criticised previous administrations for failing to uphold constitutional principles and pledged to empower the youth and women of Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister credited his government's initiatives of last 10 years for transforming the discourse around Kashmir and improving the lives of its people.

"I am devoted myself with full dedication and honesty to ensure that a way out of the past generation's miseries may be found. We are making all possible effort to remove all distances whether of the heart or of Delhi (Dil ya Dilli)", Modi stressed.

He pointed to achievements such as granting voting rights to West Pakistan refugees and Valmiki samaj in local body elections, as well as boosting tourism and economic opportunities in the region.

Modi emphasised the importance of accountability in utilising funds allocated for Jammu and Kashmir's development, ensuring that every resource contributes to the welfare of its people.

As the international Yoga Day celebration approached, he anticipated a positive impact on tourism and livelihoods in the region.

Referring to the G20 meeting held here last year, Modi said now people talk about record tourist arrivals which have provided livelihood opportunities to locals and improved the local economy.

"The international Yoga Day which will be held here tomorrow will be another tourist attraction," he added.

He said while money was being granted to Jammu and Kashmir by earlier governments as well, his government has ensured accountability. "Today, every penny is being used for your development," he said.

Modi reiterated his government's unwavering commitment to promoting peace, prosperity, and inclusivity in Jammu and Kashmir, signalling a new era of progress for the region.

Recalling his recent visit to Italy for the G7 Summit, Modi highlighted the impact of continuity of the government for three terms as it has changed the outlook of the world towards India.

He also said that all time high aspirations of Indians are the nation's biggest strength.

He said that this high aspiration leads to high expectations from the government and in this backdrop, the third continuous term of the government is special as the only parameter of an aspirational society is performance.

"People have faith in the intentions and policies of the government," he added.

Modi said the big message of people's mandate in this Lok Sabha Elections is that of stability.

He recalled the long phase of unstable governments in the last decade of the last century when the country witnessed 5 elections in 10 years resulting in development coming to a standstill.

"Leaving that phase behind, India has now entered a new phase of stable government leading to strengthening of democracy," he said.

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